The Effects of Octopamine on Your Metabolism
Octopamine is a novel supplement that is scientifically known as beta 4-dihydroxyphenetylamine. It offers proven thermogenic effects, can facilitate an enhanced mental alertness and support physical endurance in athletes, overweight individuals, students or any person interested in boosting their metabolism. Don’t be scared of this sophisticated chemical name because octopamine is not toxic and can exert a beneficial influence on your physical well-being and metabolism. When it was first discovered, octopamine was isolated from the glands that produce saliva in the octopus. However, new research revealed that octopamine can be found in variable quantities in numerous plants. A good example is the octopamine extract derived from Bitter Orange.
The Lab Production of Octopamine
Even though octopamine can be successfully extracted from plants, it can also be produced synthetically in laboratories from tyramine. This substance occurs naturally in variable concentrations in aged cheese and wine, and it is chemically derived from tyrosine, which is an amino acid that is incorporated in the structure of protein. Both plant derived and artificially produced octopamine are equally potent, and the effect largely depends on the concentration of the compound.
Octopamine Induces an Enhanced Thermogenesis
Octopamine was investigated as a potential supplement due to its prominent abilities to generate considerable caloric consumption and heat in the body. This process known as a thermogenic effect can be beneficial for numerous individuals who may need an accelerated metabolism. For example, overweight individuals may benefit from increased thermogenesis to “melt” some of their fat deposits; thermogenesis is fueled mostly by fat consumption and its conversion into energy. A thermogenic effect is also desirable in many bodybuilders or other types of athletes who need to control their body fat percentage either for aesthetic purposes or to maximize their performance. In many sports, like gymnastics, football or swimming, a high body fat percentage means that the athlete is carrying an additional “burden” when performing high-speed movements. Besides being a source of fuel when food is not immediately available, accumulated fat does not improve athletic performance and is just unnecessary. En enhanced thermogenesis is perhaps beneficial for everyone who wants to preserve a lean physique since excessive fat deposits are not associated with any benefit. Moreover, fat accumulations create an unnecessary risk for high cholesterol, which may transform into heart disease or diabetes over the years.
Octopamine Mimics the Effects of Norepinephrine
How does octopamine induce an accelerated metabolism and thermogenic effects? The chemical structure of octopamine is relatively similar to norerpinephrine, which is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter in your brain. As a hormone, it is synthesized in the adrenal glands that are located on top of your kidneys along with another similar hormone known as epinephrine or adrenaline. In fact, norepinephrine and noradrenaline are very much the same chemical compound and it is a matter of individual preference how you want to call it. As you can probably guess from the similarity with adrenaline, norepinephrine is a hormone that is released into the bloodstream from the adrenal glands or is released into the synapses of certain neurons in your brain during the response to stress initiated in your body. The process is known as fight or flight response, and it can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, such as fear, intense physical activities, challenging intellectual tasks and even more complex feelings such as shyness, hate or jealousy. The flight or fight response to stress involves mobilizing the energetic resources for your heart, muscle fibers and brain, to overcome the stress or the perceived “threat” by finding the appropriate solution.
Norepinephrine release therefore stimulates the brain and the body to respond to a stimulus through more intense reasoning, planning of urgent activities, physical work, defense against threats, escaping the dangerous situation or finding any kind of rapid solution that would allow you to overcome the stressful experience. Norepinephrine can be released in sufficient amounts prior to exams, before a date, before a job interview, during physical activities in the gym, but the specific response may vary depending on the situation. However, generally, the caloric consumption will definitely go up through an increased thermogenesis. Octopamine mimics the influence of noepinephrine, although it causes more specific effects rather than a generalized mobilization of mental or physical reserves in your body. The action of octopamine is limited to increasing thermogenesis or caloric consumption, and facilitating a better mental and physical drive by providing more energy.
Octopamine Specifically Activates Beta 3 Norepinephrine Receptors
It is a good thing that octopamine is able to provide very specific effects rather that a simple imitation of norepinephrine effects. You probably don’t want to experience a stress response every time you take a supplement, but you may certainly benefit from specific effects that are part of this response. Medical research studies investigated the precise mechanism of octopamine influence on the human metabolism, and an activation of the beta 3 norepinephrine receptors has been identified.
Norepinephrine stimulates three types of receptors to produce the stress response or the mobilization of bodily resources. These are beta 1, beta 2 or beta 3 receptors. A generalized flight or fight response usually involves activating them all through a release of norepinephrine and epinephrine from your adrenal glands and an accelerated neurotransmission through the brain pathways that utilize norepinephrine as a chemical messenger. A full blown stress response is rarely necessary unless the individual is confronted with a really challenging situation. A higher concentration of these hormones will activate all three types of receptors in most organs throughout the body, while a lower concentration will selectively activate some of these receptors in some target cells, which allows for a variable stress response depending on the stimulus.
The activation of beta 1 receptors with norepinephrine results in the heart beating faster to provide more intense blood circulation for the brain and the muscle fibers, which perform all the work when overcoming stressful circumstances. The stimulation of beta 2 receptors results in the dilation of blood vessels in the heart and muscles, which allows a better nutrient delivery to these organs during stressful events. Beta 2 receptors are also activated in the lungs and bronchi, which are also dilated through the effects of norepinephrine, allowing for a more efficient breathing and an enhanced oxygen intake through the lungs. More oxygen for muscles and brain is therefore immediately available through this physiologic mechanism.
Beta 3 receptors, which are usually activated only when the concentration of norepinephrine is relatively high, are located in the fat deposits in various areas of your body. Their stimulation results in a considerable acceleration of fat consumption to produce more heat and energy for the muscles. The result consists in an improved thermogenesis and an accelerated caloric consumption. Octopamine works specifically through this pathway, and its influence on other types of receptors sensitive to norepinephrine is relatively small. The increased production of energy fueled by consumption of fat accumulations in your body allows the muscles to function more efficiently, which is a positive effect for athletes or bodybuilders. It also enhances the generation of heat in the body and “melts” the deposited fat, which is certainly a positive effect for overweight individuals, especially if they decide to combine the intake of octopamine with sessions of moderate intensity exercise.
The Recommended Intake of Octopamine Supplements and Stacking
There is not sufficient research into the specific doses recommended for overweight individuals or athletes who take octopamine. The supplement is generally safe are non-toxic, unless combined with other powerful stimulants, which is certainly not recommended. Typically, most supplements will incorporate 200mg of octopamine per serving. You are encouraged to experiment with progressively higher doses starting from a very low amount of octopamine to see how it will influence your metabolism and exercise activities over several weeks. Stacking octopamine with other supplements with prominent mental or physical stimulation effects is not advisable because you may experience side effects that are similar to stimulant drugs, such as high blood pressure, insomnia, some degree of restlessness or agitation, and anxiety. However, octopamine can be stacked with supplements without pronounced stimulant effects, such as carb or fat blockers, protein supplements or vitamins. Although it is safe for healthy individuals to take octopamine to boost fat loss and induce an accelerated metabolism, you are encouraged to inform your physician about your intention to use octopamine if you suffer from cardiovascular problems or other diseases. Your doctor can monitor your response to octopamine, at least until you figure out the dosage that is suitable for your metabolism and energetic needs.