DLPA: Benefits, Dosing, Where To Buy, And More!

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Key Information

DLPA enhances mood and cognition

DLPA combines L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine to boost dopamine, improve focus, and alleviate depressive symptoms.

DLPA offers natural pain relief

D-Phenylalanine in DLPA inhibits enkephalinase, prolonging the effects of natural pain-relieving compounds called enkephalins.

Proper dosing is essential

Starting with lower doses and gradually adjusting based on individual response ensures safe and effective DLPA use.

DLPA complements holistic brain optimization

Combining DLPA with a balanced lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, and stress management, unlocks lasting cognitive benefits.

Affiliate Disclosure: Holistic Nootropics may earn affiliate commissions if you purchase through the links on this page. Here's how it works.

In the ever-evolving world of nootropics, DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) has emerged as a powerful amino acid with a multitude of cognitive and mood-enhancing benefits. At Holisticnootropics.com, we are committed to providing you with evidence-based, holistic strategies to optimize your brain health and performance.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the science behind DLPA, its potential benefits, dosage recommendations, and how it can fit into your overall wellness regimen.

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What is DL-Phenylalanine?

DL-Phenylalanine is a combination of two forms of the essential amino acid phenylalanine: L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is the naturally occurring form found in proteins, while D-Phenylalanine is the synthetic mirror image of its counterpart.

L-Phenylalanine plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which regulate mood, attention, and alertness. D-Phenylalanine, on the other hand, has been shown to inhibit the breakdown of enkephalins, the body’s natural pain-relieving compounds, thereby prolonging their analgesic effects.

The ADHD Amino Acid

DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) by Nootropics Depot

  • Primary building block for Dopamine

  • Increase concentration and focus

  • Enhance neuroplasticity to create new connections in the brain

  • Mild stimulatory effect- less likely to ruin sleep patterns than traditional ADHD drugs


  • DLPA has been shown to help with ADHD symptoms in some people
  • May provide the building blocks to make up for a deficit in dopamine and norepinephrine
  • DLPA is available as a supplement so you can get the benefits without having to change your diet
  • Effective doses are small, only 10-60mg


  • Increased norepinephrine levels can trigger headaches in some people
  • Increased levels of dopamine can cause anxiety is some people

Benefits of DL-Phenylalanine

The unique combination of L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine in DLPA offers a wide array of potential benefits for both mental health and cognitive performance.

Mood Enhancement and Antidepressant Effects

One of the most notable benefits of DLPA is its ability to elevate mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. L-Phenylalanine, once converted into tyrosine, serves as a precursor for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation.[1] By increasing dopamine levels, DLPA may help combat feelings of sadness, apathy, and low mood.

Moreover, D-Phenylalanine’s inhibition of enkephalinase, an enzyme that breaks down endorphins, can lead to heightened levels of these natural mood-boosters in the brain, further contributing to DLPA’s antidepressant effects.

Pain Management

D-Phenylalanine’s analgesic properties make DLPA a promising option for those seeking natural pain relief. By preventing the rapid breakdown of enkephalins, D-Phenylalanine allows these pain-relieving compounds to exert their effects for a longer duration.[2] This may be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.

Cognitive Enhancement

In addition to its mood-boosting effects, DLPA may also enhance cognitive function. The increase in dopamine production associated with L-Phenylalanine can improve focus, concentration, and mental clarity. This may be especially helpful for individuals struggling with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or age-related cognitive decline.

Furthermore, by promoting a more positive mood and reducing pain, DLPA may indirectly contribute to better cognitive performance by minimizing distractions and improving overall well-being.

Other Potential Benefits

  • Appetite suppression: Some studies suggest that phenylalanine may help reduce appetite, making it a potential aid in weight management.
  • Vitiligo treatment: Preliminary research indicates that L-Phenylalanine, when combined with phototherapy, may help repigment the skin in individuals with vitiligo.[3]

Learn More: Best Nootropics for ADHD & Focus

How DL-Phenylalanine Works in the Brain

To fully grasp the potential of DLPA, it’s essential to understand its mechanisms of action within the brain.

L-Phenylalanine, once ingested, is converted into tyrosine, which then serves as a precursor for the synthesis of dopamine and other catecholamines. These neurotransmitters play a vital role in regulating mood, attention, and cognitive function.

L-Phenylalanine, meanwhile, inhibits the activity of enkephalinase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down endorphins and enkephalins. By slowing down this process, D-Phenylalanine allows these natural pain-relieving and mood-enhancing compounds to remain active for longer periods, thereby promoting a sense of well-being and reducing pain sensitivity.

The combined effects of L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine in DLPA create a synergistic boost in mood, cognitive performance, and pain management, making it a versatile and powerful nootropic supplement.

DL-Phenylalanine Dosage and Administration

When incorporating DLPA into your nootropic regimen, it’s crucial to follow proper dosage guidelines to maximize its benefits and minimize the risk of adverse effects.

  • Recommended dosages for DLPA vary depending on the intended use and individual factors. However, a typical starting dose is 500-1,000 mg per day, divided into two or three smaller doses.
  • It’s best to take DLPA on an empty stomach, approximately 30 minutes before meals, to ensure optimal absorption.
  • As with any new supplement, it’s advisable to start with the lowest effective dose and gradually increase it as needed, closely monitoring your body’s response.

Remember, while DLPA is generally well-tolerated, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

Although DLPA is considered safe for most individuals, some may experience side effects or have specific contraindications that warrant caution.

  • Common side effects of DLPA may include nausea, headache, anxiety, and insomnia, particularly when taken in high doses.
  • Individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder affecting phenylalanine metabolism, should avoid DLPA supplements altogether.
  • Those with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders should use DLPA with caution, as it may exacerbate symptoms or interact with antipsychotic medications.
  • DLPA may also interact with certain medications, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and levodopa, used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Always inform your healthcare provider about any supplements you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

DL-Phenylalanine vs Other Forms of Phenylalanine

When selecting a phenylalanine supplement, you may encounter various forms, each with its own unique properties and potential benefits. To help you make an informed decision, let’s compare DLPA with its individual components, L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine.

L-PhenylalanineNatural form found in proteinsDopamine precursorLacks D-Phenylalanine’s pain-relieving effects
D-PhenylalanineSynthetic mirror image of L-PhenylalanineAnalgesic properties, enkephalinase inhibitionLacks L-Phenylalanine’s dopamine-boosting effects
DL-Phenylalanine50/50 mix of L and D formsCombines benefits of both formsHigher dosage may be needed for optimal effects

The primary advantage of DLPA over its individual components is its ability to offer a comprehensive range of benefits, targeting both mood and pain management. By combining the dopamine-boosting effects of L-Phenylalanine with the analgesic properties of D-Phenylalanine, DLPA provides a more well-rounded approach to cognitive enhancement and overall well-being.

Where to Buy DL-Phenylalanine

When purchasing DLPA supplements, it’s essential to choose reputable vendors and brands to ensure purity, potency, and safety. Look for products that have undergone third-party testing and are manufactured in facilities adhering to good manufacturing practices (GMP).

Some trusted brands offering high-quality DLPA supplements include:

DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) by Nootropics Depot

DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) by Nootropics Depot

The ADHD Amino Acid

Learn More: Best Nootropics for Depression

DL-Phenylalanine Discussions on Reddit

Reddit has become a valuable platform for individuals to share their experiences, insights, and questions about nootropics, including DLPA. By exploring these discussions, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of how DLPA has affected others and gather valuable tips for optimizing its use.

Mood Enhancement and Antidepressant Effects

Many Reddit users have reported significant improvements in mood and a reduction in depressive symptoms after incorporating DLPA into their nootropic stack. Here’s one notable example:

For me it cured my OCD almost completely, (yes i have been diagnosed). So if it works for you great, if not skip it i guess. For the people here saying its useless because it did not work for them is just dumb to say, everyone is different, find what works and go for it 🙂

u/FranciscoBlackmore in discussion ‘Anyone feel a bit slower on dl-phenylalanine?’

Pain Management and Analgesia

Several users have also shared their positive experiences with DLPA for managing pain and discomfort, highlighting its potential as a natural analgesic:

i was taking dlpa for mood and i found it to be far too stimulating, which is common. what aspect of your mood are you trying to improve? there are four main neurotransmitters to address.

u/ectoplasm777 in discussion ‘Is DLPA making me feel worse?’

Dosage and Cycling Recommendations

Experienced DLPA users on Reddit have shared valuable insights on finding the optimal dosage and cycling schedule to maintain the supplement’s effectiveness and prevent tolerance build-up:

I take it regularly for over ten years now. Occasionally, I go on a “break”. In fact, many regular users of DLPA find that they only need to take it once-a-week.

u/True_Garen in discussion ‘DL-Phenylalanine safe long term? E.G. “withdrawals” when discontinuing use?’

These discussions underscore the importance of individual experimentation and the potential for long-term, sustainable use of DLPA when approached mindfully.

FAQ About DL-Phenylalanine

Is DLPA safe for long-term use?

Yes, DLPA is generally considered safe for long-term use when taken at recommended doses. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects or have pre-existing medical conditions.

Can DLPA help with ADHD symptoms?

While some individuals with ADHD have reported benefits from using DLPA, the scientific evidence supporting its use for this specific condition is limited. More research is needed to confirm its efficacy in managing ADHD symptoms. If you are considering using DLPA for ADHD, it’s best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if it’s appropriate for your individual needs.

How does DLPA compare to other nootropics for mood and cognitive enhancement?

DLPA’s unique combination of mood-boosting and analgesic properties sets it apart from many other nootropics. While supplements like L-Tyrosine, 5-HTP, and Rhodiola Rosea may offer similar benefits for mood and cognitive function, DLPA’s ability to inhibit enkephalinase and prolong the effects of natural pain-relieving compounds makes it a more versatile option for those seeking both emotional and physical well-being.

Are there any natural sources of phenylalanine in the diet?

Yes, phenylalanine is found naturally in many protein-rich foods, such as:

  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans and soy products
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

However, it’s important to note that dietary sources contain only L-Phenylalanine, while DLPA supplements provide both L-Phenylalanine and D-Phenylalanine for a more comprehensive range of benefits.

Can DLPA be combined with other supplements or medications?

DLPA can be safely combined with many other nootropics and supplements, such as B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha or Bacopa Monnieri. However, it’s crucial to be aware of potential drug interactions, especially with medications like MAOIs and levodopa. Always consult with a healthcare professional before combining DLPA with any prescription medications or if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Learn More: What are Nootropics? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Cognitive Enhancers


DL-Phenylalanine is a powerful and versatile nootropic that offers a wide range of benefits for mood, cognitive function, and pain management. By combining the dopamine-boosting properties of DL-Phenylalanine with the analgesic effects of D-Phenylalanine, DLPA provides a holistic approach to optimizing brain health and overall well-being.

As with any new supplement, it’s essential to approach DLPA mindfully, starting with lower doses and gradually adjusting based on your individual response. By staying informed, listening to your body, and consulting with healthcare professionals when necessary, you can safely and effectively incorporate DLPA into your nootropic regimen for enhanced mood, mental clarity, and resilience.

Remember, while DLPA is a promising tool for cognitive enhancement, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. True brain optimization involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses nutrition, exercise, stress management, and a supportive lifestyle. By combining the power of nootropics like DLPA with these foundational practices, you can unlock your brain’s full potential and achieve lasting, transformative results.

Learn More: Best Nootropics for Focus and Concentration


  1. Beckmann H, Athen D, Olteanu M, Zimmer R. DL-phenylalanine versus imipramine: A double-blind controlled study. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr (1970). 1979;227(1):49-58. doi: 10.1007/BF00585677. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/387000/
  2. Ehrenpreis S, Balagot RC, Kubota K, Myles S, Advocate C, Talalay P. Further studies on the analgesic activity of D-phenylalanine in mice and humans. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. 1980 Dec;165(2):222-226. doi: 10.3181/00379727-165-41042. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7443722/
  3. Camacho F, Mazuecos J. Oral and topical L-phenylalanine, clobetasol propionate, and UVA/sunlight–a new study for the treatment of vitiligo. J Drugs Dermatol. 2002 Sep;1(2):127-131. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12851985/

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.