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What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating several processes within the brain, including depression, mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, appetite, anxiety, memory and perceptions. Serotonin is synthesized in the brain and body from tryptophan, an amino acid. Tryptophan converts into 5- hydroxytryptophan, then into serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine). A shortage of tryptophan is believed to be a major culprit leading to depression. High levels of tryptophan in the brain directly influence increased serotonin production and new brain cell production begins to rise.

Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, panic attacks, obesity, eating disorders, insomnia, fibromyalgia, depression, chronic pain, migraines and alcohol abuse. Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin.

Find out more about the Serotonin Supplements we have available!

Causes and Contributors to Low Serotonin Levels:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Dietary deficiencies
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Hormone Imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, estrogen)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Inflammation
  • Infections
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Problems with Digestion
  • Stress and Anger
  • High Cortisol Levels

Neurotransmitter testing is available to provide precise information on any deficiencies in neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Testing is helpful in determining a treatment, in the case a neurotransmitter imbalance is present.

Find out more about Neurotransmitter testing that can determine your natural serotonin levels.

Foods That Help Increase Serotonin:

  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Kidney beans
  • Rolled oats
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baked potato with skin
  • Tahini (sesame butter)
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Almond butter
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (organic if possible)
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily

Lifestyle Changes to Increase Serotonin:

  • Get plenty of exercise (30 minutes at least three times a week)
  • Eat regularly throughout the day
  • Get plenty of natural sunlight
  • Manage stress and negative emotions
  • Get 6-8 hours of quality sleep a night
  • Set time aside for fun and relaxation
  • Take a multivitamin daily
  • Take a serotonin supplement

Treatments for Low Serotonin

If you are already experiencing symptoms, your serotonin levels may be quite low. At this point, it may be very difficult to increase serotonin levels with food alone. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) do not increase the amount of serotonin molecules in the brain, but are thought to block the reabsorption of serotonin by certain nerve cells. If you have low serotonin to begin with, these medications will either not work, or will only work temporarily. Natural serotonin supplements are an effective means to raise serotonin levels, without the side effects of antidepressants. 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally derived supplement that introduces higher levels of tryptophan into the blood stream, which then facilitates the needed synthesis of serotonin.

Serotonin Products

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