Dietary supplements of phenylalanine and other amino acid precursors of brain neuroamines in the treatment of depressive disorders

H. M. Kravitz, H. C. Sabelli, J. Fawcett

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the antidepressant efficacy of dietary supplementation with the amino acid precursors of brain amines whose deficit is presumed to underlie depressive disorders. Of 40 depressed patients, 31 reported mood elevation with administration of L-phenylalanine (LPA), up to 14 gm./day. Of these 31 patients, 26 demonstrated mood elevation to methylphenidate challenge. Seven of the 8 bipolar patients reported mood elevation with LPA. Among 32 patients with depressive episodes only, 24 reported mood elevation with LPA; 20 of these 24 responders had 'soft' signs' of bipolarity. Of 29 patients with either bipolar or soft' bipolar illness, only 2 did not report mood elevation with LPA, while 11 improved sufficiently to not require other antidepressants. Tyrosine triggered manic agitation in 1 apparently unipolar anxious-depressed patient. Implications for the 'phenylethylamine hypothesis of affective behavior' are discussed. The results support the view that the brain is able to use dietary amino acids to enhance production of brain neuroamines capable of sustaining mood.

LanguageEnglish
Pages119-123
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Volume84
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

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Depressive Disorder
Dietary Supplements
Phenylalanine
Amino Acids
Brain
Antidepressive Agents
Therapeutics
Phenethylamines
Methylphenidate
Amines
Tyrosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Dietary supplements of phenylalanine and other amino acid precursors of brain neuroamines in the treatment of depressive disorders. / Kravitz, H. M.; Sabelli, H. C.; Fawcett, J.

In: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Vol. 84, No. 1 SUPPL., 01.01.1984, p. 119-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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