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Nutritional pain control - DLPA - a powerful pain reliever

DLPA helps to protect our natural pain killers, endorphins, allowing pain relief from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, headaches, back pain and period pains.

What is DLPA?

dl-Phenylalanine(DLPA) is a powerful, low-toxicity pain reliever, when used correctly, due to its capacity to elevate the body's own natural pain killing hormones (endorphins).

Endorphin deficiency is also found in addictive withdrawal states (alcohol, drugs) and induces adrenal-sympathetic overactivity associated with panic, anxiety and depressive responses.

Dramatic results have been reported in patients suffering from a variety of chronic pain conditions, such as:

Chronic pain
Rheumatoid arthritis
Joint pains
Lower back pain
Premenstrual cramps
Migraine headaches
Post-operative pain
Addictive withdrawal states (alcohol/drugs)
Shingles & herpes pain

DLPA is one of the essential amino acids that the body cannot make, but must obtain through the diet or as a supplement. It does not exactly kill pain; rather, it helps protect the endorphins.

DLPA works by inhibiting the activity of enzymes, which breakdown endorphins, thereby effectively increasing the activity or half-life of endorphins. Endorphins are our natural painkillers in the body. The effect of endorphin is from 15-50 times stronger than that of morphine.

For chronic pain, dl-phenylalanine (DLPA) has been found to be safer than, and as effective as, commonly prescribed or over-the-counter drugs.

This amino acid can help clear stubborn pains as well as depression and offers hope of freedom from formerly "hopeless" aches and disabling inflammation and distress.

DLPA is very long acting; its effects can last up to 3 - 4 weeks after stopping treatment. Another interesting fact, which makes dl-phenylalanine a preferential pain reliever, is its ability to be selective. While it effectively blocks long-term pain, messages of short-term acute pain (from burns, broken bones and cuts, etc.) are still sent to the brain, so that the body's natural defence mechanisms are not hindered.

Clinical applications

Chronic pain

Studies indicate that proper dosage schedules are important to achieve results. Tablets generally available contain 375 mg of dl-phenylalanine and any recommendations below this refer to this standard form.

Since many subjective factors (physical, mental and emotional) are involved in the individual's experience of pain, "proper" dosages may vary from person to person, or even from time to time for the same person.

A program should be continued until a substantial amount of pain relief results. This could happen within the first three to four days or could be delayed for as much as three to four weeks. If no substantial relief is noticed in the first three weeks, the initial dosage is doubled for an additional two to three weeks. If there is no response at this point, the treatment is discontinued.

dl-phenylalanine is not effective in all cases, although only about 5-15% of users do not benefit. It is more likely that pain will diminish within the first week of use. Dosages can then be reduced gradually until a minimum dosage requirement is determined. The dosage should be spread throughout the day. Often, the determined dosage schedule will involve only one week of supplementation in the month, while others may need to supplement on a continuous basis.

Benefits of dl-phenylalanine therapy

DLPA is non-addictive.
Pain relief becomes increasingly effective over time, without people developing tolerance.
There are no significant adverse side effects, mental or physical.
DLPA has very low toxicity.
DLPA can generally be combined with other medication or therapy to increase benefits, without adverse interactions.
DLPA has a strong anti-depressant action.
DLPA provides long lasting pain relief, which continues for up to a month, without medication of any kind.

Headaches and long-term & persistent back pain

A typical treatment schedule starts with 375 mg of DLPA, three times daily with meals (usually within five minutes from the end of the meal). If pain still persists, the dosage increases to 750 mg with each of the three meals. The treatment is discontinued when symptoms are alleviated.


dl-Phenylalanine is contraindicated for people with phenylketonuria and during pregnancy. People with high blood pressure should take DLPA only after meals. Some people become overly excited or jittery after taking DLPA. However, ingestion on a full stomach seems to overcome this.

This nutrient is apparently non-habit forming. Most people using this therapy find that they can reduce their dosage and even stop using it for some time.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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