Our emotions are not thwarted by age, but the intensity of them decreases. Those things that made us feel good in our 20s are harder to achieve in our 40s or 60s. Age may affect our cognitive ability, but the cause of feeling good does not change.
Pleasure is stimulated in many ways – food, sex, shopping, and more. However, pleasure is the manifestation of dopamine being released in the brain. Just the anticipation is enough to generate that ‘feel good’ feeling.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dopamine. The brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter. It signals pleasure and satisfaction. It is why a reward system works well for many. Its release drives motivation.
Dopamine can be increased with several natural options – probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, ginseng, dark chocolate, almonds, walnuts, bananas, eggs, and more. Dopamine depletion occurs with age. When depletion is excessive, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disease risks increase. In addition, lifespan decreases as dopamine depletion occurs.
https://www.verywellmind.com/common-symptoms-of-low-dopamine-5120239. Dopamine accounts for less than one percent of the brain’s neurons. Aging causes some of the depletion. Sleep deprivation, obesity, drug abuse, saturated fats contribute to the overall depletion of dopamine.
Symptoms of low dopamine levels are chronic back pain, persistent constipation, fatigue, attention difficulties, low moods, and many more. Though there are lifestyle causes for depleting dopamine, the real culprit is the monoamine oxidase (MAOs) enzymes.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/monoamine-oxidase-b As the years go by, the MAO-B enzyme increases, which causes dopamine to decrease. In our youth, MAO-B metabolizes the release of dopamine. Increasing the levels of MAO-B causes more dopamine depletion.
https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/mao-b-inhibitors-rasagiline-selegiline-safinamide. Many drugs are used to inhibit MAO-B. They are used to treat Parkinson’s disease and recently have found great promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Deprenyl is an effective MAO-B inhibitor. A side effect seen in animals is an increase in lifespan.
There are plant-based MAO-B inhibitors. Green Oat extract (https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2015/ss/restore-youthful-cognition-and-well-being) is an effective MAO-B inhibitor. A less expensive plant-based option comes from the Amur cork tree (China and Korea). The Phellodendron amurense has been used for centuries to treat many diseases and ailments.
Recent laboratory tests reveal that Amur cork tree extract (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC489894/) is nearly as potent as the prescription drug deprenyl. Toxic byproducts of increased levels of MAO-B are hydrogen peroxide, free radicals, and aldehydes. These byproducts damage brain cells. Amur cork tree extract provides neuroprotection to those cells damaged by toxic byproducts.
After age 60, our dopamine levels drop. Depending on many factors, as dopamine approaches around 30% of your youthful levels, Parkinson’s disease risk increases significantly. MAO-B inhibitors are used to treat Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, all prescription drugs have side effects.
However, plant-based MAO-B inhibitors might be a good question for you to ask your doctor about to possibly reduce the level of prescription drugs if side effects are a significant concern. So for us healthy people, plant-based MAO-B inhibitors might be worth pursuing.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com