The “D” Group
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with the enjoyment of life, food, arts, nature, your family, friends, hobbies, and other pleasures. The popularity of cocaine (or chocolate) stems from the fact that it causes very high levels of dopamine to be released in a sudden rush.
This creates a euphoric state. A dopamine deficiency can lead to a condition known as anhedonia.
Anhedonia is the lack of ability to feel any pleasure or remorse in life (lifeless). It also reduces the person’s attention span. For example, a person who has taken cocaine for some time will have used up most of his or her dopamine supply.
Their attention span is often reduced to 2 to 3 minutes instead of the usual 50 to 60 minutes. Learning, for such a person, is nearly impossible.
Brain fatigue, confusion, and lethargy are all byproducts of low dopamine. The brain cells which “manufacture” dopamine use the amino acid L-Phenylalanine as the raw material. Like most cells in the hypothalamus, they have the ability to produce 4 or 5 times their usual output if larger quantities of the raw materials (amino acids and their co-factors) are made available through nutritional supplementation.