What is serotonin? What does serotonin do? It is a neurotransmitter that regulates a wide variety of brain functions and behaviors.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, concentrating or remembering. low serotonin levels could be the cause. One of the best drug-free ways to boost serotornin levels in the body is through diet.
How to Increase Serotonin with Nutrients & Foods
How to increase serotonin? where is serotonin produced? Certain nutrients are necessary for serotonin production particCularly Tryptophan, Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3 and DHA) and Vitamin D. Below, I’ve listed the whole foods richesi in these nutrients.
- Pumpkin/squash seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sprouted soybeans
- Oat bran and oats
- Edamame Fava
- Green peas
- Sweet con
- Butter lettuce
- Western Pumpkin
- Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)
- gnesium-Rich Foods:
- SWiss chard
- Collard greens
- Pumpkin/squash seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pine nufs
EFA-Rich Foods (omeaa-31:
- Hax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin/squash seeds
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
EFA-Rich Foods (DHA):
- Vitamin D-Rich Foods:
- Sunlight (not a food, but still a good source)
What is Serotonin? How Serotonin Is Created
Serotonin chemical structure, also known as 5-hydroxyfrypfamine, is creafed via a unique biochemical conversion process. It begins with the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is essential to production.’ The mineral magnesium aids the conversion of tryptophan.
Once formed, the mineral Magnesium plays a major role in the release of the neurofransmiffer. This is likely fhe reason why magnesium deficiency causes Some of fthe
same sympfoms as lovw serotonin chemical structure levels.. The same goes for an essential faity acid deficiency and vitamin D. A recent study has deduced the reason why a deficiency in
chemical structureEFAS, particularly omega-3 and DHA, as well as Vitamin D may also be responsible for low
How Serotonin Affects Health
It’s not possible to overstate serotonin’s importance to our health and well-being. This
neurotransmitter regulates executive functions, sensory gating, and even social behaviors. Three of the most important, yet often overlooked, functions regulated by it, which also affect other aspects of our health and well-being, are sleep, mental focus, and memory. Below, I’ve cited research studies explaining how it affects and controls each of these key functions.
Serotonin Molecule and Sleep
Scienfists have known for a long fime thaf serofonin affects sleep. In the sfudy, “Biogenic amines and the states of sleep’, published in the journal Science, it was shown that “total
destruction of serotonin molecule-containing neurons located in the raphe system also led to total
insomnia. A 3-way correlation existed between the extent of destruciion of ihe raphe, the decrease in cerebral serofonin, and fhe resulfing insomnia.” In simple ferms, no serofonin,
Serotonin Chemical Structure and Mental Focus
In a balanced, double-blind crossover study on the fopic, called ‘Sustained affention and serotonin molecule: a phamaco-fMRI studly’, published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology, ten healthy adulfs -five men and five women, were given “the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) escitalopram (20 mg) and placebo.
Participants performed the Mackworth Clock Test to measure sustained attention during functional MRI measurements at 3 Tesla. Subjective measurements after pharmacological
manipulation were conducied with the Bond and Lader Questionnaire. “e Based on the results, fhe researchers concluded fhaf serofonin was involved in sustained affenfion “through modulafing acfivafion of selecfive brain areas including fhe thalamus and caudate nUcleus. Possibly, these areas are involved in a Subcortical network for sustained funcfional MRI measuremenfs af 3 Tesla. Subjecfive measuremenfs affer pharmacological manipulation were conducted with the Bond and Lader Questionnaire.” Based on the resulis, the researchers concluded that serotonin molecule was involved in susiained attention “through modulating activation of selective brain areas including the thalamus and caudaie nucleus. Possibly, these areas are involved in a subcortical network for sustained attenfion, but further research is necessary.”
Serotonin and Memory
How to increase serotonin? There has been a lot of research regarding serotonin chemical structure’s effect on memory. Much of this research has been foCUsed on elderly subjects, as both short-ferm and long-term memory
loss is common in the elderly. This is even more true for those suffering from Alzheimer’s
disease. “Abnormalities of the serotonergic nervous system are well documented in
pathologic studies of Azheimer’s disease and there is evidence suggesting that changes in fhis system occur in associafion with non-disease aging.”s ACcording to anofher study,
published in Annals of Medicine, ‘Role of serotonin molecule in memory impairment’, “Despite [the] lack of functional specialization, the serotonergic system plays a significant role in
learning and memory, in particular by interacting with the cholinergic. glutamatergic.
dopaminergic or GABAergic systems. Its action is mediated via specific receptors located
in crucial brain structures involved in these functions, primarily the septohippocampal
complex and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM)-frontal cortex.
Serotonin syndrome Treatment
While it is important to keep one’s serotonin levels in the optimal range, it’s also important
to understand that too much serotonin molecule can be detrimental to one’s health. An excess of serotonin is called serotonin syndrome. Severe serotonin foxicity (or crisis) can lead to mulfiorgan failure and death, if not treated within hours. ” Its
toxicity can occur from an overdose, drug interaction or adverse drug effect involving serofonergic agents.”s But ihere are a long list of items ihat can cause serofonin
syndrome, if taken in excess, not just SSRIs, SNRIS and various anti-depressarnt drugs.
MAOlS, Some fobacco-addicfion medications, ilicit drugs, ithium, some anti-nausea
medications, Ritonavir (Used to treat HIVIAIDS), and even some herbs (St. John’s wort
ginseng and the spice nufmeg), can all frigger serofonin syndrome in some people.
Unfortunately, it’s nt just an overdose or interaction that one must consider.
Conscientious use of SSRIs can also caUse issues. Serotonin is manufactured in both the
brain and the gastrointestinal tract. The vast majority of serotonin molecule(more than 80%) is
stored and used in the gastrointestinal tract. This distribution of this in the body is why
SSRIS “increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.”o So, be aware.
Unfortunately, if’s not just an overdose or interaction that one must consider. Conscientious use of SSRIs Can also cause issues. Serotonin is manufactured in both the brain and the gasirointestinal tract. The vast majority of serotonirn (more than 80%) is stored and used in the gastrointestinal tract. This distribution of it in the bodly is why SSRIs “increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.”o So, be aware.
A Natural Serotonin Boost is Safer
Based on the research, I believe it is healthier and less risky to boost levels through natural means. Fortunately, with so many foods containing serotonin molecule boosting nutrients, nof fo mention the sun, if’s fairly easy fo get the nutrients necessary fo keep your levels in check. Exercise- particularly aerobic activities-is also beneficial for serofonin production, but without consuming the right nutrients if would do you very little good. So, stay acfive and eat right, fo improve sleep, concentration, and memory.