Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Aug 2002

Fighting Depression Q and A

Fighting depression, CLA for weight control, plus…

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, on January 2021.


Q: Can L-phenylalanine be taken with deprenyl for depression? Is deprenyl an MAO inhibitor?

A: Deprenyl is a selective monoamine oxidase (MAO) B inhibitor, whereas classic MAO inhibiting antidepressant drugs suppress primarily MAO A. In daily doses of 5 mg to 10 mg, there are no significant MAO A inhibiting effects when taking deprenyl. A study in Neural Transm [Austria, 1984, 59/1 81-87], indicated the antidepressive efficacy of combining deprenyl with phenylalanine. This study evaluated 155 unipolar depressed patients and concluded that the combined treatment with 5 mg to 10 mg a day of deprenyl plus 205 mg a day phenylalanine has a potent antidepressive action based on the accumulation of L-phenylethylamine in the brain.

Q: I want to learn more about CLA. How much do I need to take to see results? Currently, I take 2000 mg a day. Do I need to take it in divided doses or all at once? Is there any indication that CLA can interfere with sleep?


A: The amount of CLA used in some human weight loss studies was 3000 mg of pure CLA, although other studies have included higher dosages [Clin Sci (Lond) 2000 Dec;99(6):511-6; J Nutr 2000 Dec;130(12):2943-8]. Keep in mind that each capsule yields 76% CLA, so each 1000 mg softgel yields approximately 760 mg of pure CLA. Therefore, you will need to take at least four softgels to get over 3,000 mg of CLA. For maximun fat-loss effects, some people take five to six 1000 mg softgel capsules early each day.

You should take CLA all at once early in the day. Do not take CLA with fiber since the CLA oil may be absorbed into the fiber and not your bloodstream. Since CLA may boost the basal metabolic rate, it is best to take it early in the day and not in the evening.

Q: Recently you reported that it may be dangerous to consume alpha tocopherol without also obtaining the gamma tocopherol fraction of vitamin E. The latter is exactly what one does when taking Life Extension Mix tablets. Will you be adding gamma tocopherol to The Mix?

A: High-potency gamma tocopherol is only available in an oil base. That is why it was added to the Life Extension Booster in addition to offering it in the Gamma E Tocopherol/Tocotrienol formula. We cannot put an oil base into dry powder products like Life Extension Mix. We suggest you consider adding one capsule a day of Gamma E or the Life Extension Booster to your daily regimen.

strong>Q: I am a heart patient taking Nexium 80 mg and Zocor 60 mg daily. What doses of vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid should I take to compensate for the depletions caused by these medications?

A: Nexium is a drug that blocks acid production. Like Prilosec, Nexium can inhibit B12 absorption. Taking small amounts of vitamin B12, such as 10 mcg to 50 mcg per day, may protect against drug induced vitamin depletion [Ann Intern Med 1994;120:211-5]. Most people take 500 mcg to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) for optimal benefits. The drug Zocor can deplete CoQ10, so you should take at least 100 mg per day of coenzyme Q10. You might want to consider adding vitamin E, since vitamin E improved markers of blood vessel elasticity more than simvastatin alone [J Am Coll Cardiol 1998;32:711-6].

Q: What does the "L" prefix of the amino acids stand for?

A: An amino acid can be designated "L" or "D". The terminology comes from the Latin laevus and dexter, meaning left and right, respectively, indicating the direction in which the molecule is rotated. "L" and "D" forms of a molecule are structural mirror images of one another. The form best utilized by the body is the "L" form.