HVA and DOPAC are the major metabolites of dopamine.
HVA stands for Homovanillic acid and DOPAC stands for Dihydroxyphenylacetic. DOPAC converts into HVA.
- Dopamine can be metabolized into one of three substances.
- One such substance is DOPAC.
- Another is 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT).
- Both of these substances are degraded to form homovanillic acid (HVA).
When you are looking at your results a high level stands for increased conversion from DOPAC to HVA and a lower level stands for a decreased conversion from DOPAC to HVA.
What is HVA?
HVA is a major metabolite of dopamine.
What is DOPAC?
DOPAC (dihydroxyphenylacetic acid) is another major metabolite of dopamine. DOPAC levels may be elevated due to inhibition of dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH) from Clostridia metabolites, the mold metabolite fusaric acid, pharmaceuticals such as disulfiram, food additives like aspartame, or to deficiencies of the DBH enzyme due to copper deficiency, vitamin C deficiency, or malic acid deficiency. Low production of DOPAC can be due to decreased intake or absorption of dopamine’s precursor amino acids such as phenylalanine and/or tyrosine or decreased quantities of cofactors needed for biosynthesis of dopamine such as tetrahydrobiopterin and vitamin B6 coenzyme. DOPAC levels may also be low due to treatment with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or genetic polymorphisms (SNPs) of MAO or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) coding for decreased enzyme activity.
A decrease in the conversion of DOPAC to HVA is most commonly caused by a genetic deficiency of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and/or a nutritional deficiency of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe).
HVA and DOPAC are the major metabolites of dopamine. An increase in the conversion of DOPAC to HVA might be due to excessive supplementation of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) and/or supplements such as methyltetrahydrofolate or methylcobalamin that increase endogenous SAMe.
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