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Mucuna pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens, or Velvet Bean, is a bean that grows from vines and is very itchy to touch due to serotonin on its surface. It is a good source of L-DOPA, and contains some other molecules that may aid the benefits of L-DOPA. The other psychoactives in Mucuna are dosed too low to be relevant.

Our evidence-based analysis on mucuna pruriens features 51 unique references to scientific papers.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Supplement-wise, 5g of Mucuna Prurients dried powder has been used with efficacy in some human studies on Parkinson's Disease and Fertility. This dose or doses upwards of it should be a good starting point.

If your supplement is standardized for L-DOPA and you are supplementing for an effect attributed to L-DOPA, then start with about 1/2 the L-DOPA equivalent and work up if needed (this is due to the same amount of L-DOPA in Mucuna being more bioactive relative to isolated L-DOPA without carbidopa).

Mucuna Pruriens can be eaten isolated as a food product, but cooking is required to destroy trypsin inhibitors in the beans (so protein absorption is not hindered) yet cooking also destroys L-DOPA.

Some supplements use the cotyledon of Mucuna Pruriens, which may have different nutrient profiles relative to the bean or whole root.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Mucuna pruriens has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Minor Very High See all 3 studies
There appears to be an increase in seminal quality and oxidative parameters following 3-month ingestion of Mucuna pruriens, which is thought to be secondary to correcting the hypothalamic-pituitary-testes axis
grade-c Notable Very High See all 3 studies
Possible symptoms reduction in Parkinson's Disease related to the L-DOPA content and theorized (but not proven) peripheral dopamine decarboxylase inhibitor; this is notable as a L-DOPA and carbidopa combination supplement is the reference for reducing parkinson's symptoms
grade-c Minor - See study
The decrease in adrenaline seen in infertility is normalized with mucuna
grade-c Minor - See study
In chronically stressed men, prolonged ingestion of mucuna pruriens appears to be able to reduce cortisol concentrations
grade-c Minor - See study
The reduction in dopamine seen in infertility seems to be reversed with L-DOPA ingestion; theoretically L-DOPA ingestion should unilaterally increase dopamine
grade-c Minor - See study
The reduction in noradrenaline levels seen in infertility is normalized following mucuna ingestion
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in prolactin appears to occur following Mucuna or L-DOPA ingestion
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in seminal motility is observed following mucuna ingestion
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being has been noted to be secondary to a reduction in cortisol
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in testosterone is seen in infertile men. It is unsure if this increase in testosterone occurs in fertile and otherwise healthy men

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

Velvet Bean, Cowitch, Werepe, Karara, Agbara

Do Not Confuse With

Levodopa (active ingredient)

Caution Notice

Mucuna Pruriens contains L-DOPA, also known as Levodopa. This is a dopamine precursor and sometimes used as a pharmaceutical to treat Parkinson's Disease (alongside another compound known as Carbidopa)

Compounds contraindicated with Levodopa/Carbidopa treatment most likely extend to Mucuna Pruriens and should be approached with caution. This appears to be narrow-eye glaucoma suffers, those using pharmaceutical MAO inhibitors, and those who have a history of melanoma or suspicious and undiagnosed skin lesions.

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Click here to see all 51 references.