Nominally about a 30 year old drug that has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease and high prolactin levels, Bromocriptine actually deals with the issue of how the body regulates bodyweight, hunger and how those systems change with dieting. As it turns out, the drug bromocriptine happens to trick one of those systems and can help to eliminate many of the problems that occur with dieting.

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About Bromocriptine

Bromocriptine is a dopamine agonist drug (meaning that it acts like dopamine in the brain) that has been used for over three decades for the treatment of a number of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, acromegaly (the disease Andre “The Giant” had), and overproduction of the hormone prolactin. You may be wondering what this has to do with the topic of body composition.

As I discuss in many of my articles and other books, the body regulates factors such as body weight, composition and appetite through a variety of hormones such as insulin and leptin. It turns out that those hormones exert at least part of their effect through dopamine levels in the brain. When people diet, dopamine levels drop in the brain and this is responsible for many of the effects (such as lowered metabolic rate, increased hunger, etc.) that occur.

My book Bromocriptine starts by outlining the systems that regulate body weight and fat levels before explaining how the drug bromocriptine can ‘trick’ the body into thinking that it’s not dieting so that metabolic rate doesn’t slow, hunger is decreased, etc. Side effects, dosing and everything else related to the drug and how it can be used for various purposes related to body composition are outlined in detail in the book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Defining the Problem
Chapter 2: How your Body Knows
Chapter 3: Leptin Resistance
Chapter 4: Bromocriptine
Chapter 5: What Bromocriptine Does
Chapter 6: How Bromocriptine Works
Chapter 7: Using Bromocriptine, Part 1
Chapter 8: Side-effects and Risks
Chapter 9: Using Bromocriptine, Part 2
Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Miscellany
Appendix 1: The FDA and Bromocriptine
Frequently Asked Questions
References Cited


The following is from Chapter 4: Bromocriptine

The effects of bromocriptine in the brain are complex and different sources give slightly different descriptions. To avoid utter confusion on the part of myself and the readers, I’m only going to focus on bromocriptine’s primary mode of action, which is as a dopamine 2 (D2) receptor agonist (30). Bromocriptine is also a weak antagonist at the D1 receptor. Now that youre totally confused, let me explain what it means to be a D2 receptor agonist or a weak D1 receptor antagonist.

An agonist is any drug or compound that stimulates a specific receptor. So, in the same way that a hormone/neurotransmitter will bind to the receptor and make ’stuff happen’, an agonist drug does the same.

An antagonist is the opposite of an agonist. It is a drug that binds to a receptor without sending the normal metabolic signal. But it’s more than just neutral. At the same time that it binds the receptor without sending a signal, it also prevents other compounds (such as DA itself) from binding.

As a D2 receptor agonist drug, bromocriptine will bind to the D2 receptor and cause an effect similar to if DA itself had bound. It also has weak antagonistic effect at the D1 receptor, which aren’t that important in the big scheme of things. As a weak D1 antagonist, bromocriptine binds to the D1 receptor a little, preventing normal binding of DA a little. I won’t really talk too much about this effect since it seems fairly unimportant in the big scheme of things.

Reader Feedback

Hi Lyle,
I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how much I appreciate your Bromocriptine booklet. I have been a perpetual dieter for the majority of my adult life. After reading the Bromocriptine booklet, I had a much better understanding on how the body and brain react to (and reject!) dieting. Your book was easy enough to read, yet still allowed me to educate myself, and make an informed decision as to whether I would pursue the use of this medication, or not.

I did decide to actually try bromocriptine, and I have to say that I feel I’ve had some great success in breaking through diet barriers I’ve not been able to break through previously. I had gone through a 6 week round of your PSMF-Rapid Fat Loss Plan (another fantastic book by the way) that left me feeling physically drained and emotionally worn out. I took a recommended diet break, and then started another round, this time I monitored my morning temperature, and added bromocriptine to my regime.

The results were great, and I felt so much better than on the first go-round. My morning temperatures remained stable, and I didn’t have that hard hormone crash that inevitably happens while dieting. My appetite was severely reduced. I had more energy, and did not have that physically and emotionally “wrung-out” feeling I had with my first PSMF go-round. Hard-core dieting can give you a kind of brain fog feeling also, and I had no issues with this either, which is important, as I need to be able to focus on my job during the day.

The only real side effect I’ve encountered (on 5mg daily) is a “stuffy nose” that comes on about 1 hour after dosing. This dissipates during the course of the day, and is definitely not intolerable. After about 2 weeks the severity of the stuffy nose is also greatly decreased.

To date, utilizing PSMF, coupled with Bromocriptine, I’ve been able to lose 34 lbs total, and over 15 inches off my body…This is the most weight I’ve been able to lose at any given time.

Many thanks Lyle, for these great and informative books…I’m still waiting for an Endocrine book!

Jennifer – Charleston, SC

“I have had no previous success with the traditional low-fat diets. While I have had success with ketogenic type diets in the past, I cannot stay on a keto diet for the rest of my life and when I stopped the ketogenic diets my fat returned.

Lyle’s Bromocriptin book contains a simple, easy to follow plan that enabled me to lose fat while preserving my muscle on the more mainstream diet and most importantly – KEEPING the fat off afterwards.

By following Lyle’s advice to add resistance exercise with the Bromo diet plan here is my pre and post numbers from my first time using Bromo.

Using Bromo at 5mg/day as per Lyle’s book I effortlessly lost over 15 Kg of total body weight. Most importantly – The real story is how much my body CHANGED – I actually lost over 30Kg of body FAT and gained nearly 15 Kg of MUSCLE.

Pre-Bromo – 140Kg – estimated 56% body fat by immersion testing.
(percentages meant ~ 78.5Kg of FAT with 61.5 Kg of Lean Body Mass)

Post-Bromo with mainstream diet and resistance exercise I ended at 123 Kg @ 35% BF
Which meant 46.7Kg of FAT with 76.3 Kg of Lean Body Mass.

That was in 2006. Since then I have never again gone above 127KG total body weight and my body fat percentages are steady.”

Myles – Alberta, Canada

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