This study examines the effect of diet and moderate physical activity on plasma levels of the dopamine metabolite homovanillic acid (HVA) in healthy young males. At weekly intervals, subjects were fed four isocaloric meals: polycose (pure carbohydrate), sustecal, low monoamine, and high monoamine. Moderate physical activity consisted of 30 minutes of exercise on a bicycle ergometer. The effect of diet on plasma HVA (pHVA) was highly significant. Compared to the polycose meal, the high monoamine meal significantly increased pHVA. Moderate physical activity also significantly increased pHVA. Future clinical studies using pHVA in man as an index of brain dopamine function should control for the effects of both diet and physical activity.
- Homovanillic acid
- physical activity