Dopamine is known as the neurotransmitter responsible for emotions of happiness. Dopamine is also linked with movement coordination, logical thinking, emotion, vision, and motivation.
This neurotransmitter can function in multiple ways, depending on where it activated in the human brain. Dopamine is considered as an inhibitory form of neurotransmitter.
Put simply, Dopamine is involved in many critical functions of the human brain and body, such as regulation of body movements, attention, memory, motivation, and reward. This mechanism of dopamine works because, as large quantities of the said chemical messenger are released into the system, it can provide the person with feelings of reward and pleasure resulting in the motivation to repeat certain actions or behaviors.
On the other hand, low levels of dopamine can lead to feelings of low enthusiasm and decreased motivation. In this article, we will learn more about dopamine and answer the question- does dopamine increase heart rate.
Natural Sources of Dopamine
Here are some natural sources of dopamine along with its possible health benefits, if you opt to supplement and enhance your dopamine levels:
Evidence suggests that increased intake of phenylalanine and tyrosine can lead to increased levels of dopamine while reduced levels of the said amino acids can also result in the depletion of dopamine. Foods to eat are:
Eating less saturated fats
A study conducted on animals showed that saturated fats disrupt the signaling functions of dopamine when consumed in large quantities. These saturated fats can come from food items such as coconut oil, palm oil, full-fat dairy, butter, and animal fats.
The study, conducted on laboratory rats, showed that the signaling functions of dopamine in the brain were not disrupted for those who consumed less saturated fats compared to those who consumed more. Interestingly, the effects on saturated fats on dopamine were observed regardless of the rat’s body fat, weight, levels of blood sugar, and hormones. Experts theorize that this may be the result of the inflammatory properties of saturated fats. This can lead to disruptions in the functions of dopamine.
More recently, experts have been able to establish a more direct link between the brain and the gut. The human gut has also sometimes been referred to as the second brain since it has a large number of cells that are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters that includes dopamine.
It has now become more apparent that there are certain types of bacteria found in the gut that are capable of producing dopamine that affects one’s behavior and mood. Further research is needed to confirm the specific relationship between gut health, probiotics, and overall mood. Data suggest that increased quantities of dopamine, can significantly lower the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Mucuna Puritans, also known as Velvet beans, naturally have significant levels of L-Dopa, a molecule identified as a dopamine precursor. Evidence suggests that consuming significant levels of velvet beans can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Velvet beans and its L-dopa content are believed to be effective in helping people with Parkinson’s disease since the said disease is commonly the result of low or reduced levels of dopamine. It must be noted however that velvet beans can be harmful and toxic if taken in excess. It is always important to follow the prescribed amounts to ensure that the aforementioned risk is avoided.
Studies suggest that exercising can help boost the dopamine levels found in the human brain. Aside from being a mood enhancer due to an increase in endorphins, exercise can also be linked to better quality and elevated levels of dopamine. Exercising has also been identified as one of the best therapies for patients with Parkinson’s. Further studies are needed, however, to fully establish the specific effects of exercise on dopamine.
Does Dopamine Increase Heart Rate?
The answer to this question is yes- Dopamine has shown to increase heart rates by almost 18%, according to a study conducted by Drs. John Holmes and Noble Fowler. Dopamine has been used to treat hypotension or low blood pressure. It means that people who want to use dopamine should ideally consult their doctor first as to how it can affect their heart function and health.