Mucuna pruriens, otherwise known as velvet bean, is a bean that grows in various locations around the globe.
This established herbal bean has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine (ancient Indian medical system) for centuries, mostly to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Though, research has emerged about the potential effects mucuna pruriens has on L-DOPA, and even potentially acting as an herbal equivalent to pharmaceutical L-DOPA.
This has led to further findings on the benefits of mucuna pruriens for male fertility and male health, which is why you may find mucuna pruriens in many herbal testosterone boosters such as Testo Lab Pro.
This article explores all things mucuna pruriens, the benefits of supplementation, what this means for L-DOPA, and how this extraordinary bean can help boost dopamine!
What is Mucuna Pruriens?
Starting with the basics: what is mucuna pruriens?
Mucuna pruriens, or otherwise known as velvet bean due to its itchy, velvet-like surface, is a bean that grows in several locations around the world.
This popular Ayurvedic herb has been used for centuries to treat numerous conditions, though in recent times it had become more well known in the bodybuilding community, particularly around male health.
Many of the health properties of mucuna pruriens stem from the bean’s high concentration of L-DOPA (levodopa), which is a natural precursor to dopamine, the brain chemical associated with pleasure.
Dopamine plays a significant role in emotional and cognitive health, which means mucuna pruriens is of greater interest to biohackers and bodybuilders alike who are looking for a natural nootropic.
L-DOPA also plays a role in male fertility and is thought to boost testosterone production, which explains the further interest in the male fitness field.
Mucuna Pruriens: Benefits
Increased sperm concentration and quality1
Numerous studies have noted an increase in sperm concentration in infertile men upon supplementation of mucuna pruriens over a 3-month period. Additionally, improvements in sperm quality, mobility, and count were all recorded.
Increased testosterone levels1
It appears that ingestion of mucuna pruriens over a 3-month period successfully increased testosterone levels in infertile men, though it is yet to be determined if it has the same effect on fertile, healthy men.
Reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease1
Mucuna pruriens has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine to treat Parkinson’s disease. Some studies have noted a possible reduction in symptoms of Parkinson’s, allegedly relating to the L-DOPA content.
Reduced cortisol levels1
Supplementing with mucuna pruriens over a 3-month period saw decreased cortisol levels in chronically stressed men.
Due to the L-DOPA content of mucuna pruriens, a few studies have noted that dopamine reduction as a result of infertility was reversed with L-DOPA ingestion.
L-DOPA is an amino acid, also known as levodopa.
The primary active constituent of mucuna pruriens is L-DOPA, which is responsible for many of the health benefits associated with the supplementation of mucuna pruriens.
L-DOPA is a direct precursor to dopamine, the catecholamine neurotransmitter, and supplementation can increase levels.
The difference with L-DOPA compared to dopamine is that it can cross the blood-brain barrier, which is how it increases dopamine in the brain specifically.
Some of the proposed benefits of L-DOPA include:
- Improves cognitive function
- Improves mental alertness
- Increases motivation
Aside from increasing dopamine levels, L-DOPA also assists with male fertility and sexual health due to the role it plays with the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) Axis.
Through this engagement, the production and secretion of testosterone-boosting hormones is encouraged. Thus, mucuna pruriens plays an indirect role in promoting healthy testosterone activity and improving overall male health.
Though, you may also find L-DOPA associated with many nootropics, or “smart drugs”, due to its ability to improve cognitive function.
The Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens for Bodybuilding
So, you’re now probably wondering how these benefits translate into bodybuilding!
By playing a role in the hormonal activity and boosting testosterone production, mucuna pruriens may offer benefits in the following areas:
Testosterone is the key male sex hormone that plays a significant role in muscle building for both men and women.
It is well known that when testosterone levels decrease, our muscle mass suffers. Additionally, under conditions where testosterone is low, growing muscle mass is difficult, thus making it easier to gain fat.
Mucuna pruriens has largely been used traditionally in areas relating to sex drive and libido.
Considered an aphrodisiac, mucuna pruriens appears to work on libido via two pathways: 1) the testosterone boosting effect, and 2) the effects of increased dopamine levels on sex drive.
Much of the research and evidence around the effectiveness of mucuna pruriens centres around male fertility. For men dealing with infertility issues, mucuna pruriens appears to be the supplement to consider when it comes to increasing sperm count, sperm quality, and sperm mobility.
Mood and Motivation
It goes without saying that the effects that mucuna pruriens has on increasing dopamine levels would have a positive impact on mood and motivation. Dopamine plays a big role in the regulation of cognition, memory, motivation, mood, attention, and learning.
Mucuna pruriens, or velvet bean, is a traditional Ayurvedic herb known to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and more recently, significantly improve male fertility, indirectly boost testosterone production, and provide cognitive benefits from the high L-DOPA content.
So, whether you’re training hard in the gym or working hard in the office, the benefits of mucuna pruriens can make a difference in all areas of your life, enhance your health and daily mental and physical performance.
The benefits mucuna pruriens has on testosterone is why it’s a key ingredient in Testo Lab Pro, an all-natural T-booster that should be a part of any male bodybuilder’s supplement stack.
Combined with other cutting-edge ingredients:
- KSM-66 Ashwagandha
- D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate
- Zinc, Magnesium, Boron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K
Testo Lab Pro strategically increases testosterone by restoring nutrients required for production, raising natural levels via multiple pathways, and fighting off testosterone killers, thus optimizing your muscle gains and recovery from training.
- Brown. W. Mucuna Pruriens. Examine.com. 2021