What exactly is serotonin? Serotonin is a chemical in your brain known as a neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter in your brain (made also in your gut) is responsible for your mood regulation. Think of your mood level and having a negative or positive outlook, having emotional stability, self-confidence, emotional flexibility (being able to shift the gears to move off of negative overwhelming thoughts).
Are you affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep?
Are your PMS symptoms horrible because your serotonin drops when estrogen drops?
Do you have chronic stress, chronic inflammation, or too much dopamine?
Did you know that dopamine (which is responsible for your focus, attention, pleasure, joy and the ability to stay organized) has to be in balance with serotonin? We will explain more about dopamine in an upcoming blog.
Did you know that if you have low serotonin, you could be more prone to addictions to alcohol and drugs? Most conventional medicine doctors (but not all) immediately want to prescribe an SSRI or anti-depression medication and then diagnose their patient with anxiety or depression. Really. But how many times do doctors talk about getting to the root cause instead?
Serotonin does not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and you certainly cannot just take a magic pill to fix your problems. If you could, there would not be anxiety or depression in this world. On the contrary, 5HTP and tryptophan both do cross the blood brain barrier, and they both convert to serotonin, the happy chemical we need in our brain. You can eat tryptophan form foods which are high in amino acids--like turkey and other protein-rich foods. Remember...foods matter. Protein matters. And if you are not getting enough protein, guess what? Your body does not make amino acids. So not eating protein leaves you deficient in the ability to make your happy chemical. You can supplement with 5HTP and tryptophan; however; most people seem to be deficient in this amino acid. Visit www.eatingproteinsaveslives.org or www.lucky2beme.org to get a better understanding on emotions and how eating protein can be your answer.
Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Magnesium are all co-factors that matter to your health. They are needed to help the amino acids cross the cell membrane to be used where they matter most! When was the last time your doctor talked with you about amino acids?
Feed your brain first. For more information on learning about amino acids, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.