L-dopa: Nutrient
or Drug?
L-dopa is the most effective approach for managing Parkinson’s disease available, with 89% of patients with Parkinson’s disease taking it.

L-dopa, Dopamine, and Parkinson’s Disease

A relative nutritional deficiency occurs when an optimal diet does not meet the needs of the system. For example, when Parkinson’s disease, an optimal diet does not allow the body to make enough dopamine to meet its needs a relative nutritional deficiency of the naturally occurring amino acid exists.

What is L-dopa, nutrient or drug?

L-DOPA, also known as levodopa, or L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine is an amino acid that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, as well as some animals and plants. The human body makes L-dopa from the L-tyrosine found in food. It is a natural substance normally found in the body. When situations occur where the body cannot make enough dopamine to meet its needs, such as with Parkinson’s disease, it represents a relative nutritional deficiency of L-dopa.

L-dopa is An Amino Acid #1  L-dopa is An Amino Acid #2

Is L-dopa a nutrient or a drug?

The National Institute of Health has posted the following definition on its website: “A nutrient is any substance that facilitates normal system function. A drug is any substance that induces abnormal system function. A nutrient may become a drug. A drug may not become a nutrient… When L-dopa is administered as a single agent, it may deplete serotonin, and would then be considered a drug, not a nutrient.” To be optimally effective L-dopa must function as the amino acid nutrient it is. When L-dopa induces depletion of other systems and side effects (to include nausea) it is causing abnormal function and conversion of an amino acid nutrient to a drug. Nutrients given properly have no side effects and do not induce abnormal function.

What is the most effective approach for managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms?

L-dopa is the most effective approach for managing Parkinson’s disease available, 89% of patients with Parkinson’s disease take L-dopa combined with carbidopa. Carbidopa is not effective in the management of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Its only use is controlling refractory L-dopa induced nausea which occurs in about 25% of patients.

Mayo Clinic on L-dopa   Cleveland Clinic on L-dopa

How effective are “other” drugs?

Parkinson’s disease induces a nutritional problem where the patient can’t get enough nutrients on an optimal diet to make enough dopamine; this leads to a nutritional collapse. The most effective approach is L-dopa, a natural amino acid which the body makes and uses. All other drugs used in Parkinson’s disease run a distant second when it comes to effectiveness. If these other drugs are not the best, why are they used? Most doctors view the side effects and depletions associated with L-dopa to be unmanageable. The strategy then becomes too use these less effective drugs, before starting L-dopa, for a long as possible to delay having to deal with the unmanageable L-dopa side effects. The problem is, not dealing with a nutritional deficiency is of no benefit to the patient. Under the approach outlined on this website, we manage the problems associated with L-dopa for what they are, side effects caused by an imbalance between nutritional systems. When a nutrient such as L-dopa, or any nutrient for that matter, is given in proper balance with other nutrient driven systems there are no side effects. Since isolated in 1958, the only approach to dealing with L-dopa-induced problems and side effects stemming from the negative interaction of nutritional systems was to pile on drugs which do nothing to address the cause of the nutritional deficiency, which bring more nutritional deficiency, system imbalance, and side effects to the clinical picture. Only nutrients can deal with the cause of nutritional deficiency. Only nutrients can effectively deal with side effects caused by the nutrient administration. If nutrients, such as L-dopa, are displaying side effects you are inducing abnormal function into the system.

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