Key neurotransmitters synthesized from amino acids include GABA, serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and nitric oxide (Table 1.8). The pathways for the production and metabolic disposition of the three biogenic amines are now well established (Bradford, 1986); the synthesis of NO is discussed below. It is logical to expect that brain concentrations of neurotransmitters may be subject to dietary control of the amino acid precursors. One form of dietary manipulation involves the imposition of an amino acid imbalance (Harrison and D'Mello, 1986, 1987). However, results from various sources are inconclusive and may have been confounded by methodological differences among individual studies (Chapter 7).

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