Beta Alanine Raises Dopamine - Worsened OCD?


New Member
Jan 10, 2019
Hey there,
I suffer from OCD. This https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/19543795 study seems to suggest it could raise dopamine in the nucleus accumbens in humans. Could this lead to any worsening of OCD symptoms? I already got this answer on reddit: "Based on that study on beta-alanine and some studies into the pathophysiology of OCD and drugs which can help treat it, it is possible that it could make OCD worse.

Antipsychotics (D2 antagonists) have shown some use in OCD individuals resistant to SSRI treatment, and their antipsychotic action at least is seemingly dependent on the nucleus accumbens. So perhaps by boosting DA in the NAc it could increase D2 activation and enhance obsessive symptoms, but these systems by no means exist in isolation so it may make it worse or it may make it better through other processes, and responses may vary between individuals -- the only way to find out is to try I suppose."

Any takes on that matter? I want a second opinion.

Thanks in regard,


Jan 25, 2014
Well, I'm not sure how much Beta Alanine raises dopamine, and the link was broken when I tried it. Sure enough, it looks like SSRIs are used to treat OCD. But I am always suspect that raising serotonin would have any beneficial effects on any disease or condition. So, I wondered if any dopamine agonists had been used to treat OCD. A quick search of OCD and bromocriptine (one of the the oldest Dopamine Agonist drugs) brought up this-

Only a case study of four, but a "dramatic improvement of OCD symptoms" in three certainly at least begs for more research or investigation. It may actually be the case that raising dopamine or agonizing some of the dopamine "receptors," could alleviate some OCD symptoms.

I also found this when looking to see if cyproheptadine had been used in OCD-

Here is the Paragraph I found interesting, of medications to address the "side effects" of SSRIs-

"Some of these side effects, such as increased anxiety and nausea, are most likely to occur during the first few weeks of treatment and often subside. Nausea can often be ameliorated by taking the medication with meals. Drowsiness can be managed by taking all or most of the dose at night. Sexual problems are important to monitor because they are a common reason for noncompliance. Additionally, patients who continue to take the medication may manage the side effects by skipping doses. This can be a problem with SRIs with shorter half-lives. There are pharmacologic treatments that may help restore libido, such as bupropion.13 Other treatments may help with erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil, cyproheptadine, and mirtazapine.14"

Bupropion is both a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, so it will also increase dopamine. Cyproheptadine and mitazapine are both serotonin antagonists. So, it's an odd strategy being recommended here..... raise levels of serotonin while simultaneously trying to lower levels of serotonin, or block the effects of serotonin.


New Member
Thread starter
Jan 10, 2019
Thanks for your reply! I actually am on an SSRI, Luvox, for my OCD and the improvement has been tremendous! So I really don't want to worsen any symptoms.. It seems to me that it could go both ways. The dopamine increase will either worsen or better the OCD. Guess I just have to test it out..
Thanks again,


Aug 24, 2017
SSRI drugs actually lowers serotonin long term by activating the 5-HT1A receptor, but then too high dose will cause it to become insensitive. SSRI drugs also increase allopregnanolone in the brain (as per Haidut if I recall correctly).
Here are a few things that occurs with or that contributes to OCD:
  • Trauma early in life.
  • Elevated DHEA and cortisol and increased corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH)
  • Elevated oxytocin
  • High glutamate and low GABA (DHEAS is GABA antagonis)
  • Low melatonin
  • B12 and perhaps folate deficiency
  • Increased sensitivity to 5-HT2 and enhanced prolactin, glutamate, cortisol, etc., release.
  • 5-HT3 antagonism in beneficial
  • 5-HT1A is reduced and 5-HT6 elevated. Estrogen decreases 5-HT1A.
  • 5-HT2C antagonism improves symptoms. 5-HT2c inhibits dopamine and noradrenaline release in the brain and also stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol. Bacopa is a 5-HT2C antagonist and also increases SERT.
  • Reduced SERT (leading to high serotonin. Estrogen also decreases SERT)
  • NMDA agonist is beneficial, with glycine and serine. Not glutamate. 5-HT2a releases glutamate so glutamate is probably already high.
  • D2 and D3 antagonism is beneficial.
  • Low D2 availability. Inositol, coffee and exercise increases D2.
  • In OCD patients, serum zinc, iron, and magnesium concentrations are significantly reduced compared to the controls and serum manganese and calcium concentrations are significantly higher. This could indicate slow thyroid function and elevated PTH
  • Glycine, caffeine, magnolia (+gotu kola & jujube extract ) could be beneficial in OCD.
Above is just a few things I copied and pasted from studies so it's just a rough collection, but could hopefully be of value.


Feb 13, 2016
Just an opinion, but I don't think OCD is due to high dopamine so much as due to low GABA aka high metabolic activity due to being excessively stimulated by stress along with low thyroid/progesterone.

The reason SSRIs and antipsychotics work is that increasing prolactin increases GABA because it shuts off your brain and lowers your level of consciousness.

But for optimal functioning you need both high dopamine and high GABA, which is possible only via high metabolic activity combined with low stress hormones aka good thyroid function.


Jun 28, 2019
Just an opinion, but I don't think OCD is due to high dopamine so much as due to low GABA aka high metabolic activity due to being excessively stimulated by stress along with low thyroid/progesterone.

The reason SSRIs and antipsychotics work is that increasing prolactin increases GABA because it shuts off your brain and lowers your level of consciousness.

But for optimal functioning you need both high dopamine and high GABA, which is possible only via high metabolic activity combined with low stress hormones aka good thyroid function.

Does taurine also raise gaba via raising prolactin? I've heard taurine raises both those things. If it counteracts the dopaminergic beta alanine this would also make sense?


Sep 3, 2016
Anyone been able to improve OCD through metabolically favorable protocols? I’ve had spurts with OCD my entire life. Sometimes it’s non existent, sometimes minimal, sometimes fairly bad. Can be hard to troubleshoot.
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