The 8 Best Dopamine Supplements of 2021, According to a Dietitian

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Pure Encapsulations O.N.E Multivitamin at luckyvitamin.com

"It combines vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy cognitive function, cellular health, and eye health."

Best Budget: Country Life Coenzyme B Complex at Amazon

"An all-star supplement, it's NSF-Certified Gluten-Free, kosher, vegan, and non-GMO."

Best Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega at Amazon

"All their products use wild-caught fish, are non-GMO, and are third-party tested."

Best Probiotic: Klaire Labs Target gb-X at Amazon

"A hypoallergenic, specialty, shelf-stable probiotic formulation targeted to provide robust gut-brain axis support."

Best Vitamin D: Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops at Amazon

"These Vitamin D3 liquid drops provide 2000 IU per serving, and are perfect for anyone who has a hard time swallowing pills."

Best Magnesium: Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder at Amazon

"Every product is made with the purest possible ingredients—without gluten or other major allergens."

Best Ginseng: Puritan's Pride Ginseng at Amazon

"It's made without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives."

Best Ginkgo: Life Extension Ginkgo Biloba at Amazon

"This product is consumerlabs.com approved, vegetarian friendly, and certified Non-GMO. "

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, dopamine is involved in reward and motivation. Once a behavior or substance is identified as pleasurable, dopamine will be released, signaling reward, thus helping us learn to repeat certain behaviors. Interestingly, dopamine can be released even in anticipation of a pleasurable event.

Dopamine is often increased by drugs of abuse as well as behavioral addictions and is frequently examined in addiction research. Low levels of dopamine are linked to reduced motivation and feelings of pleasure. In addition to reward and motivation, dopamine plays an important role in the coordination of body movements. Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disease that results in tremors and motor movement impairments, is caused by the loss of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.

A well-balanced diet, plenty of sleep, physical activity, and interventions to moderate stress will help support dopamine production. The research to support specific supplementation for dopamine is limited; however, there are supplements you can take to support overall health. It is always important to consult with your healthcare provider before supplementing.

Here, the best dopamine supplements:

Best Overall: Pure Encapsulations O.N.E Multivitamin

Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin

Courtesy of Amazon

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants work optimally when combined with one another. For this reason, Pure Encapsulations Multivitamin is our top overall pick for the best dopamine supplement. A good choice for both men and women, one serving of the O.N.E Multivitamin provides choline, inositol, lycopene, vitamin D, lutein, and zeaxanthin for healthy cognitive function, cellular health, and eye health.

In addition to these potent nutrients, one serving contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate in its most bioavailable form. Folate has been examined for its role in depressive symptoms. Some research suggests that there is a relationship between levels of folate and evidence of depression.

Pure Encapsulations prioritizes purity, potency, and clean ingredients. This product is gluten and GMO-free and features a vegetarian capsule.  

Best Budget: Country Life Coenzyme B Complex

Country Life Coenzyme B Complex

Courtesy of Amazon

Country Life’s Coenzyme B-Complex is an all-star supplement. What makes this product stand out among the rest is the use of Quatrefolic, a metabolized form of folate that bypasses many conversion steps in the body to deliver folate the body can immediately use. Another stand-out ingredient is the use of methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12), the more active and readily available form of the vitamin.

A bonus to the eight B vitamins provided by each two-capsule serving is the addition of PABA, phosphatidylcholine, inositol, and Alpha-Lipoic Acid. These complementary ingredients help to support the cellular energy production process.

Ticking off major boxes such as NSF-Certified Gluten-Free, kosher, vegan, and non-GMO, Country Life produces its products using renewable energy, a win for you and the environment.

Best Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid

Courtesy of Amazon

Omega 3-fatty acids are critical for optimal health and wellbeing. In addition to supporting healthy metabolism, skin, and hormones, omega 3 fatty acids have a big role in mood regulation. Unless you are eating at least two to three servings of fish per week, it might make sense to supplement with high-quality fish oil.

Research done on animals has shown that supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids can increase levels of dopamine. We picked Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid supplement instead of their capsules because of the higher levels of EPA and DHA per serving.

Liquid fish oil supplements may not be for everyone and if you are more likely to be compliant with capsules, skip the liquid supplement. All Nordic Naturals products use wild-caught fish, are non-GMO, and are third-party tested, surpassing the strictest international standards for purity and freshness.

Best Probiotic: Klaire Labs Target gb-X

Klaire Labs Target gb-X

Courtesy of Amazon

Knowing that the gut and brain are intimately connected via the gut-brain axis, the use of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to support mood has become an emerging and fascinating field of research. In 2015, a randomized clinical control trial was done to evaluate if specific probiotics could play a role in cognitive reactivity to sad mood. The researchers found that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood.

Klaire Labs Target gb-X with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus is a hypoallergenic, specialty, shelf-stable probiotic formulation targeted to provide robust gut-brain axis support. Each probiotic sachet contains five billion colony-forming units of the same probiotic strains used in the research study referenced above.

In addition to the targeted probiotic blend, this product is free of the following common allergens: milk, casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, and soybeans. No artificial additives, colors, flavorings, preservatives, sugar, or salicylates are used.

Best Vitamin D: Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops

Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops

Courtesy of Amazon

Interacting with more than 30 different tissues in the body and affecting more than 1,000 genes, Vitamin D is important for many body processes, not just maintaining bone health. Research on Vitamin D’s role in mental health disorders and symptoms is still emerging. In animal studies, Vitamin D has been shown to be protective in the dopaminergic pathway.

For anyone who has a hard time swallowing pills, Source Naturals Vitamin D3 is for you. These Vitamin D3 liquid drops provide 2000 IU per serving; however, for those that want more or less Vitamin D, dosing can be adjusted directly by the user by increasing or decreasing the amount of drops consumed. Free of yeast, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, egg, and gluten, this product is an excellent choice for those with food allergies or intolerances.

Best Magnesium: Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder

Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder

Courtesy of Amazon

It is estimated that half of the United States population is consuming inadequate amounts of magnesium. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 different reactions in the body and is critical for brain and nervous system functioning. More research is needed to directly link a deficiency in magnesium to dopamine levels; however, it is safe to say that adequate intake of magnesium is important for optimal production of neurotransmitters.

One scoop of Thorne’s Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder provides 48 percent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Magnesium glycinate has less of a laxative effect than other forms and is thought to be more effective for relaxation.

Every Thorne product is made with the purest possible ingredients—without gluten or other major allergens (eggs, tree nuts, or peanuts). This product also contains no soy, dairy, yeast, shellfish, or fish. As an added safety bonus, the product is NSF Certified for Sport, which means it is tested for compliance with label claims to ensure the absence of more than 200 substances banned by many major athletic organizations.

Best Ginseng: Puritan's Pride Ginseng

Puritan's Pride Ginseng

Courtesy of Amazon

Ginseng is a famous traditional medicinal herb that has been widely used for many centuries. Numerous studies have shown that ginseng has a positive effect on the prevention and treatment of neurological disorders; however, many of these studies have been done in animal models, and more research in humans is needed. In animal models, ginseng appears to have protective effects on the dopaminergic pathway.

In addition to its potential neurological benefits, Ginseng is thought to help decrease brain fog and support the immune system. Puritan’s Pride Ginseng is made without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. It is also free of sugar, dairy, soy, gluten, yeast, and fish.

Best Ginkgo: Life Extension Ginkgo Biloba

Life Extension Ginkgo Biloba

Courtesy of Amazon

Ginkgo is an herb known for its role in cognitive function in herbal and traditional medicine. A powerful antioxidant, this herb works best when taken over an extended period of time, likely four to six weeks. Research on how Ginkgo directly affects dopamine production and overall cognition is limited, and many studies have been done only in animal models.

According to consumerlab.com, a third-party supplement testing site, consumers should be wary when purchasing Ginkgo as this supplement is often adulterated. Life Extention’s Ginkgo Biloba extract is approved by ConsumerLab.com, so customers can feel confident in this purchase. This product is vegetarian-friendly and certified Non-GMO.

Final Verdict

Research on supplements for dopamine production is limited. Without  a doubt, the best way to support neurotransmitter production is to consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. For this reason, Pure Encapsulations Multivitamin (view at Lucky Vitamin) is our top overall pick for best dopamine supplement. A good choice for both men and women, one serving of the O.N.E Multivitamin provides optimal amounts of essential vitamins and minerals as well as choline, inositol, lycopene, vitamin D, lutein, and zeaxanthin for healthy cognitive function, cellular health, and eye health.

What to Look for in Dopamine Supplements

Ingredients:

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the right supplement for your needs. Research is limited when it comes to supplementing for dopamine production. It is important to check the ingredients when shopping for a new supplement. Be mindful of potential allergens, and always reach out to your health care provider if you are unsure about complementary ingredients in a product.

Certifications:

Look for certifications from independent, third-party testing companies such as ConsumerLab.com and NSF International. These organizations provide quality testing and allow products that pass their tests to display a seal of quality assurance. These seals indicate the product was properly manufactured, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants. 

Contraindications:

Though most of the supplements reviewed are generally recognized as safe, you may need to consult your healthcare provider if you are already taking certain medications or supplements. It is always important to remember that just because a supplement is sourced from natural ingredients, it can still be incredibly powerful. Start a new supplement with the lowest dose possible, being mindful of unwanted changes and increase as tolerated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between serotonin and dopamine?

    Serotonin and dopamine are both neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the central nervous system that relay signals between neurons (nerve cells) by crossing the small gap (synapse) between neurons. Both serotonin and dopamine play a role in mood regulation and cognition. Serotonin is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter and plays a large role in regulating mood and feelings of well-being. Dopamine is known as the reward neurotransmitter because it plays a large role in motivation, and it has been examined widely through the lens of addiction. Dopamine also plays a large role in cognition and motor function.

  • Can supplements increase dopamine?

    There is not enough evidence to support supplement use to increase dopamine exclusively. Dopamine production depends on a variety of factors. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes protein, essential fats, and complex carbohydrates is the foundation to optimal neurotransmitter synthesis. Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients, but she would take them herself if needed.

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