What is it for ? What is his role ?
Noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter from the catecholamine family, such as adrenaline, dopamine and phenylethylamine. They are, in a way, our natural amphetamines.
Noradrenaline: what is it used for? What is his role ?
Noradrenaline is mainly synthesized by neurons located in the Locus coeruleus from dopamine, itself produced by tyrosine. Although not essential, this amino acid is essential for cerebral balance. But noradrenaline is also a hormone released by the adrenal medulla glands in the event of stress. It is through this that it stimulates our attention, our vigilance and our awakening. It is also involved in learning and the occurrence of dreams and nightmares. Finally, it controls the release of hormones that regulate stress, fertility, libido, appetite and metabolism.
From Vigilance to Panic
Like adrenaline, of which it is the precursor, noradrenaline stimulates the orthosympathetic system. Its synthesis will lead to the release of stored fat and sugars to provide energy to our brain, our muscles and our sense organs. In the event of stress, it is norepinephrine which is responsible for the increase in our sensory perceptions: hearing, touch, smell, taste or sight are more sensitive and sharper in the presence of high levels of norepinephrine. It also helps to increase heart rate, blood pressure and bronchial dilation.
If the levels of norepinephrine remain too high in the evening or at night, it is difficult to relax, to find sleep (in bed, the eyes remain open despite fatigue). We wake up at the slightest noise or the slightest light.
If as a result of stress norepinephrine is released in large quantities, then one feels a feeling of panic or overwhelming fear. In the rat, the destruction of Locus coeruleus leads to a total disappearance of fear.
Learning and attention disorders
Noradrenaline modulates learning and interest in things.
Lower than normal levels of this neurotransmitter lead to trouble concentrating, as is the case in several psychiatric conditions such as depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It is for this reason that medications for depression and ADHD often target dopamine and norepinephrine to restore catecholamine levels.
Monkeys rendered insensitive to norepinephrine show themselves incapable of integrating the social behaviors of the group. In humans, when the synthesis or release of norepinephrine is disturbed, the following may appear: withdrawal, detachment, demotivation or even a drop in libido.
Doctor David Magnusson (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) followed for 20 years the path of all the boys of a small town, from the age of 10. Some of them became criminals; all of these had low norepinephrine levels.
Modulate your noradrenaline
Tyrosine intake promotes the synthesis of all catecholamines, including norepinephrine. The cofactors that activate this synthesis pathway are: vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.
Caffeine is also a solution because it stimulates the norepinephrine receptors. It thus makes it possible to accomplish repetitive, boring tasks, not sanctioned by rewards. Caffeine also increases alertness levels. It is found in coffee, tea (often at equivalent or even higher concentrations), and in certain plants such as Guarana (Paullinia cupana), the Kola nut (cola nitida), or Mate (Ilex paraguariensis).
Caffeine is also present in energy drinks and cola drinks. Beware, however, of the habituation and dependence it leads to in the long term.
When norepinephrine is too high (chronic stress, anxiety or panic attack, sleep disorders, hypersensitivity, concentration disorders), it is difficult to modulate it except to compensate for its effects by acting on GABA, a neurotransmitter inhibitor that is involved in the processes of relaxation, relaxation and sleep.
Professor at the FLMNE Naturopathy school and their site:
Ludovic Rondini is a doctor in nutrition. Holder of a master’s degree in biochemistry, a doctorate in nutrition and an MBA specializing in health professions. He is the author of more than several scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and regularly intervenes to train and inform health professionals on new advances in the field of nutrition, micronutrition and phytotherapy.
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