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FORMULA’S by Dr. David Arneson, NMD thesourcenmc@msn.com

I’ve spent the last 8 years detoxing and treating all forms and levels of alcoholism and drug addiction. I also have treated patients for all levels of psychiatric drug withdrawals including anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and other psychotropic medications. The key to returning brain neurochemistry to some sense of normalcy is to use the proper repair materials. Consider the following statement:

If we truly want to treat the deficiencies created by the use of alcohol and drugs, or any other drug that has a negative affect on brain neurochemistry, then we need to understand one thing clearly – like a house that has been damaged in a storm, we need proper building and repair materials. The body/mind house only knows nutritional building materials. One cannot say absolutely that all will respond completely to such nutritional treatment regimes. Yet in our experience, well more than 80% do respond favorably to such nutritional focus. The reason for this is quite clear: The only way to repair the damage, or to facilitate the return to normal function, is to utilize the knowledge of nutritional biochemistry. In holistic medicine, this is known as functional medicine, molecular medicine or cellular medicine.

Our first formulas had basic issues—mainly cost and the number of capsules that had to be done daily. It wasn’t uncommon in the first year or so for a patient to be taking 15- 20 capsules twice per day. 4 years ago we generated our first amino acid kits—lowering the cost by 40% and reducing the number of capsules to 12 or less twice per day. Yet, the cost and the number of capsules still seemed to be an issue…also we wanted to add a mineral complex to the basic regimes. Our latest endeavor has succeeded in lowering the cost and reducing the caps to no more than 7 twice per day—and yet we believe that this is the best formula. These formulas are based on one fact. The primary neurotransmitters—master neurotransmitters—are serotonin, dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and epinephrine. GABA can also be considered in this process. Every biochemical process in the human body depends on the proper levels of these neurotransmitters. When we bring these back into balance most other biochemical and neurochemical processes come back into balance. These neurotransmitters do not exist only in the brain—in fact only 5% of the serotonin is found in the mind. Serotonin is the primary gut neurotransmitter and also regulates clotting function and has a role in cardiovascular health. Nor-epinephrine and epinephrine also are produced in the adrenal glands to help us deal with stress. Nor-epinephrine is also critical in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and the production of sex hormones. These are ‘Global” neurotransmitters involved in every major function of the biochemical reactions in the human body/mind. It is rare that we can treat just one of these neurotransmitters and expect everything to work normally—nothing works in a vacuum—and every biochemical process is intrinsically tied to every other process. Get the master neurotransmitters balanced, and in tune with the others, and all other processes move toward balance. In the past we used multiple formulas for multiple issues. The more that I reviewed this process over the last few years the more I thought how simple this could really be. The type of drug was not the major issue—bringing back the balance in these neurotransmitters was the issue.

The formulas derived are based on the knowledge of how any one drug or alcohol works on the brain. Tyrosine Plus was generated to address problems that occur with the use of alcohol, marijuana, SSRI antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and other less caustic mind altering chemicals. TYROSINE with MUCUNA has an added component which is the mucuna—other than that they’re basically the same formula. Mucuna is a plant derived extract of a natural form of l-dopa. L-dopa is an intermediate product made from tyrosine. L-dopa eventually becomes dopamine, which becomes norepinephrine, which then becomes epinephrine. The problem in treating a dopamine deficiency is that tyrosine to L-dopa is a rate limited reaction—this means that it doesn’t matter how much tyrosine you put into your system you can only make so much L-dopa—therefore only so much dopamine, etc. Yet, L-dopa to dopamine is not rate limited—this means that the reaction needed to repair the dopamine circuit can go on unimpeded. This formula is what we use on opiate dependency, methamphetamine, cocaine, antidepressants such as Effexor or others that act principally on nor-epinephrine neurotransmitters circuits. The formula works well on depression that is a result from a dopamine deficiency.

There are a phase one formulas that we suggest for the first few months of treatment. Phase two formulas are generally maintenance formulas. I have quit labeling the kits as opiate, alcohol, methamphetamine, etc. This is for privacy and anonymity issues. From now on they’ll simply be marked with the neurotransmitter labels. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via the e-mail address is supplied above.

The following is a list of the component parts of each formula—with an explanation as to why it is needed.

1) Multiple Vitamin—the definition of a vitamin, and many minerals, is “an essential co-enzyme”. Vitamins and minerals push biochemical reactions forward. As an example, Vitamin C is an essential co-enzyme in the formation of all the neurotransmitters. To do amino acid therapy without a vitamin complex is akin to trying to cut a board with a circular saw that is not plugged into an electrical outlet.

2) Omega Complex—these omega fatty acids are derived from fish oil. If one has sensitivity to fish oil the kit can be made up with flax seed oil the only herbal source of mixed omega oils. Omega 3’s and Omega 6 fatty acids have many roles in the human body/mind. There are known to have a greater efficacy in treating depression than anti-depressants in general. The reason is clear—these fatty acids embed in every cellular membrane in the human body/mind. This gives the membrane integrity and stability. The idea is to return each cell, whether a skin cell or a nerve cell, back to some sense of normal functioning. If we can regenerate normal cellular membrane function the patient will return to some sense of normal functioning.

3) Tyrosine Plus and Tyrosine with Mucuna…

a) The minerals and vitamins listed are either essential co-enzymes or co-factors needed to push the reaction forward to optimize performance of the neurochemical pathways. For example—Calcium is not a co-enzyme—it is a co-factor…the release and re-absorption of the neurotransmitter is calcium dependent.

b) 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the amino acid necessary for the production of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is essential in healthy gut function and cardiovascular function. It is also the neurotransmitter that allows for balanced mental health.

c) Tyrosine is the amino acid that converts into L-dopa. L-dopa than is converted to dopamine. Dopamine is converted to nor-epinephrine and that is eventually converted to epinephrine.

d) Mucuna ( in the Tyrosine with Mucuna formula only), bypasses the rate limited reaction that limits the tyrosine to L-dopa reaction—this allows for a more dramatic boost in production of dopamine (the feel good neurotransmitter), and also the increase in production of nor-epinephrine and epinephrine which are critical for the healthy reactions to stress.

e) Methionine is the amino acid that converts directly to S-Adenosyl methionine—or SAM-e which is a critical co-enzyme necessary for the conversion of dopamine to nor-epinephrine.

f) Glutamine is the amino acid that converts to GABA. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter which keeps the stimulatory neurotransmitters in check. In fact, GABA receptors are where anti-anxiety medications (such as valium, etc) work. Glutamine also helps to keep gut cells healthy so that absorption of nutrients are maximized.

4) Adrenal support capsule—almost all patients that need the Tyrosine with Mucuna formula are adrenal fatigued…this cap supports adrenal function until the systems are normalized. Not in the phase two formulas.

Communication: Since I am hearing impaired I rarely take phone calls to address questions. Yet, I want anyone utilizing these formulas to feel absolutely free in contacting me via the internet. Unless I am out of town I answer emails 6 days per week. I have full confidence in the products that we have developed. These are exactly the same formulas that we use on our in-house patients.

With respect, Dr. Dave


David Arneson was born on September 22, 1949 in Sidney, Montana. He graduated from Philomath High School in Philomath, Oregon in 1967. He entered the U. S. Army in 1968 and was honorably discharged in 1970. After his Army service, he went to Oregon State University for one year where he majored in Liberal Studies. In 1971 he moved to El Paso and worked for several years in the customer service industry. In 1976 he started his own contracting business to which he sold majority interest in 1992 and the remaining limited interest in 1996. In 1988 he took the opportunity to return to school and entered the University of Texas at El Paso where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1992 with a double major in Biology and Psychology, graduating with Honors. From 1994 to 1996, he continued his education at the University of Texas at El Paso and the El Paso Community College. In 1994 he received the necessary training to be certified by the American Board of Hypnotherapy in clinical and regression hypnotherapy. In 1996 he entered into his medical training at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where he received his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in August 2000. From 1988, he has worked in both the volunteer and employee capacity in the field of addiction, as well as with the seriously mentally ill, working extensively with both adult and adolescent populations. Since October of 2000, to July 2002, he served in the capacity of Clinical/Medical Director at the Naturopathic Detox Program, a non-profit 14-28 day residential naturopathic drug and alcohol detoxification facility. Presently, he is Medical Director of The River Source Naturopathic Detox and Treatment Program in Mesa, Arizona. He is currently a part time Clinical Instructor of Naturopathic Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences where he supervises and trains student doctors in clinical settings. He also maintains a private practice, focusing on treatment of alcoholism, drug dependency, and chronic disease.