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Increasing dopamine is one of my favorite biohacks as it plays a central role in motivation, success, and pleasure. I cracked the code to enhancing dopamine levels that is custom tailored to your own genetic code, you can enter your genome from 23andMe into our software, SelfDecode. I also highlight my favorite biohacks and dopamine boosters into a condensed and easy to apply ebook I wrote called SelfHacked Secrets.

Genes and SNPs Related to Dopamine Function

In order to see your SNPs for these genes, sign up at SelfDecode and upload your genetic data by companies such as 23andme. When you click on a gene page, if you have your results loaded, it will show you your SNPs related to your genes.

1) Dopamine Receptor Genes

Dopamine D1 Receptor gene (DRD1)

This gene encodes D1 dopamine receptors, which control neuronal growth and behavior (R).

Dopamine D2 Receptor gene (DRD2) (R)

DRD2 variant rs1800497 T results in lower D2 receptor levels. This variant is protective against ADHD (R).

Dopamine D3 Receptor gene (DRD3)

DRD3 encodes dopamine receptors that are located in the limbic areas of the brain, which are associated with cognitive, emotional, and hormonal functions (R).

Dopamine D4 Receptor gene (DRD4) (R)

Dopamine D5 Receptor gene (DRD5)

2) Dopamine Production, Breakdown, and Conversion

Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH)

TH protein results in the increased chemical synthesis of dopamine. It is involved in the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine (R).

Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH)

DBH helps with the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline (R).

Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT)

COMT is an enzyme that degrades dopamine. It breaks down dopamine, mostly in parts of the brain that are responsible for higher cognitive or executive function (prefrontal cortex) (R).

A well-studied SNP in COMT (rs4680) affects dopamine levels and results in different personality traits. Read more about it here.

D-amino acid oxidase (DAO)

DAO contributes to dopamine synthesis (R).

DOPA decarboxylase (DDC)

DDC helps with the conversion of L-DOPA to dopamine. It is part of the pathway that produces dopamine and serotonin (R).

Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA)

This is an enzyme that breaks down dopamine (R).

Monoamine oxidase B (MAOB)

This is an enzyme that breaks down dopamine (R).

Cholinergic receptor nicotinic alpha 4 subunit (CHRNA4)

CHRNA4 encodes a protein that is involved in the control of dopamine synthesis (R).

Cholinergic receptor nicotinic beta 2 subunit (CHRNB2)

CHRNB2 encodes a protein that is involved in the positive control of dopamine synthesis (R).

Dystrobrevin binding protein 1 (DTNBP1)

DTNBP1 encodes a protein that is involved in the control of dopamine synthesis (R).

Fibroblast growth factor 20 (FGF20)

FGF20 encodes a protein that is involved in the process of dopamine synthesis (R).

5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (HTR2A or 5-HT2A)

HTR2A, a serotonin receptor, is involved in the process of dopamine synthesis (R).

5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (HTR1A or 5-HT1A)

HTR1A increases dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus, which could be beneficial for schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease (R).

5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1B (HTR1B)

HTR1B is a protein that is thought to inhibit the release of dopamine in the frontal cortex (R).

Parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (PRKN)

PRKN is involved in the process of dopamine synthesis, the dopamine metabolic process, dopamine uptake, and dopamine secretion (R).

Parkinsonism associated deglycase (PARK7)

PARK7 is involved in the positive control of the dopamine biosynthetic process (R).

Synuclein alpha (SNCA)

SNCA reduces dopamine release and uptake (R).

Angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AGTR2)

AGTR2 is involved with the dopamine biosynthetic process (R).

GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1)

GCH1 is associated with the dopamine biosynthetic process (R).

G protein-coupled receptor 37 (GPR37)

GPR37 is associated with the dopamine transporter to help regulate dopamine uptake (R).

Transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFB2)

TGFB2 is involved with the dopamine biosynthetic process (R).

PTEN induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1)

This protein increases the secretion of dopamine (R).

Neuropeptide Y receptor Y2 (NPY2R)

NPY2R is involved in the positive control of dopamine secretion (R).

4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase (ABAT)

ABAT is involved in the negative process of dopamine secretion and positive process of the dopamine metabolic process (R).

Monooxygenase DBH-like 1 (MOXD1)

MOXD1 is involved with breaking down dopamine (R).

3) Genes Involved with Dopamine Binding

Adrenoceptor beta 2 (ADRB2)

ADRB2 is involved with dopamine binding (R).

G protein-coupled receptor 143 (GPR143)

GPR143 is involved with dopamine binding. It is a receptor for tyrosine, L-DOPA, and dopamine (R).

4) Genes Involved with Dopamine Transport

Solute carrier family 22 member 1 (SLC22A1)

This gene encodes for a protein involved in dopamine transport (R).

Solute carrier family 22 member 2 (SLC22A2)

This gene encodes for a protein involved in dopamine transport (R).

Solute carrier family 22 member 3 (SLC22A3)

This gene encodes for a protein involved in dopamine transport (R).

Solute carrier family 6 member 3 (SLC6A3)

This gene encodes a protein dopamine transporter, which transports dopamine into the cell (R).

Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2)

This is a protein encoded by the SLC18A2 gene. It is involved with dopamine transport (R).

Torsin family 1 member A (TOR1A)

This gene controls the location of dopamine transporter SLC6A3, which also makes it in control of dopamine transmission (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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  • Cody

    Hi, I can’t find any archives on this, so I’m hoping for a response in the direction to research. I have the AA alleles for the gene ABAT. I’ve been having symptoms of a defieciantcy for years, and it’s been getting worse it seems. I have adhd symptoms, but none of the Medications work. Any links to studies or direction for treatments? Thanks

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