Q & A Library
Is DLPA a Good Option for Chronic Pain?
I have heard that DLPA is good for chronic pain, but I don't see any reference to it on your website. Will it help?
Answer (Published 9/18/2009)
You're asking about a mixture of the two forms of phenylalanine, an amino acid that is the precursor of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. L-phenylalanine has been used for treatment of depression; D-phenylalanine, which is believed to help prevent breakdown of the brain's natural painkillers may help some people with chronic pain. DLPA includes both forms.
I discussed DLPA in my book Natural Health, Natural Medicine and warned that people with high blood pressure should be cautious about taking the L form by itself. The mixture in DLPA is less likely to raise blood pressure.
Today, I find the evidence for DLPA's effectiveness weak and no longer recommend it. I'm familiar with claims that it can help some people get by with lower doses of opiates for chronic pain, but I'm not convinced. Instead, I suggest trying other treatments such as hypnotherapy or acupuncture as well as natural anti-inflammatories such as ginger and turmeric.
Here are some more approaches I recommend for dealing with chronic pain:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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