More about DLPA
DLPA is a form of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. It's made up of equal parts of D, or synthetic, and L, or natural, phenylalanine. It appears to help increase and prolong the body's ability to naturally kill pain because it produces and activates hormones called endorphins, which have an almost "morphine-like" effect. DLPA is doubly attractive because it appears to be effective for long-term pain relief without affecting the body's mechanisms for acute pain, such as burns, deep cuts, etc.
Unlike many drugs, this non-addictive amino acid actually appears to become more effective over time. But, the pain relief may not occur immediately. It can take anywhere from four days to four weeks before relief is noticed. Interestingly, often people who do not respond to conventional prescription painkillers, such as Valium, report positive results with DLPA supplementation.
A 1991 study indicated that DLPA used in combination with morphine allowed the dosage of morphine to be lowered and also lessened the undesirable effects of the drug, including dependence.
Some researchers contend that this nontoxic substance has antidepressant actions and is beneficial when combined with other therapies, without adverse interactions. It appears to increase positive attitudes and emotional enthusiasm for life in addition to its powerful pain-relieving effects.
L-Phenylalanine, one half of DLPA, is converted into the amino acid tyrosine in the body through some complex chemical reactions in the liver. L-Tyrosine, in turn, is a brain messenger that can be converted into dopamine and norepinephrine. Through these conversions, L-phenylalanine may be able to help relieve stress and depression and help suppress appetite.
Phenylalanine has also been shown to increase the concentrations of a chemical messenger in the brain known for its importance in generating romantic feelings and increasing libido — phenylethylamine. Research has shown that individuals who have become disinterested in sex appear to have low levels of phenylethylamine in their brains.
Athletes use DLPA for many of its effects — to improve focus for a workout, to help relieve post-exercise soreness, and to suppress appetite when needed. It is also used by a variety of individuals to relieve pain, improve memory, and lift depression. In other words, this amino acid-like supplement has a wide variety of effects that may interest active and non-active individuals alike.