What is Serotonin?
Neurotransmitter (allows nerves to talk to each other). biological function is complex and multifaceted, modulating cognition, reward, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes
Produced in the GI tract primarily but also the brain (Hello gut health influences brain health!!!!!)
Serotonin is produced, does a job and then then is cleared by reuptake. Various agents can block re-uptake and increase serotonin:
SSRIs (a kind of antidepressant e.g. sertraline (zoloft), cocaine
Regulates mood, sleep (improves sleep), appetite, highly involved in behaviors requiring high cognitive function, learning and memory
From a weight loss perspective
The weight loss drug Belviq or lorcaserin stimulates serotonin receptors in the hypothalamus
Why do we want to naturally increase serotonin?
Positive mood is linked to longevity and decrease risk of all cause mortality
Ways to increase Serotonin
Sunlight (or bright light (3000 lux)?) exposure (at the right time of day)
Bright light during the night hours might disrupt serotonin levels
“Light cafes” pioneered in Scandinavia have come to the United Kingdom
GET OUTSIDE for a walk (lunch break/morning etc.)
Anti-depressive and anti-anxiety effects of exercise have been documented over and over.
The most consistent effect is seen when regular exercisers undertake aerobic exercise at a level with which they are familiar
We think this is due to increase serotonin
Tryptophan is an amino acid which is a pre-curser for serotonin. Unfortunately it’s hard to get that tryptophan you eat in your diet to your brain due to the meal you are eating it with. Due to interactions too complicated to go into here, it does not reach the brain easily. When eating foods with other amino acids, they compete for access to your brain. Its very hard to get things past your blood-brain barrier (the semi-permeable barrier between your blood and cerebrospinal fluid). Not everything you put in your blood (or gut for that matter) reaches the brain.
*** this is the problem with MANY supplements that you waste your money on. Supplements promising better mood / sleep etc. may not actually make it to your brain.
Scientists have been trying to figure out how to manipulate the meal make up so that more tryptophan makes it to the brain
A few studies showing eating foods high in dietary tryptophan can improve memory and mood
You can google what foods have lots of tryptophan (eggs/salmon/almonds/ etc.).
Make sure you eat these things with a little carb as studies show this improves the ability for your body to use the tryptophan
Simply Health ME E79 - Body Image
Simply Health ME E78 - Listen Questions Jan 28
Simply Health ME E77 - Emotional Eating
Simply Health ME E76 - Facts we learned this week
Simply Health ME - E74 Cortisol
Simply Health ME E73 - Testosterone
Simply Health ME E72 - Loneliness
Simply Health ME E71- Grand Rounds with Dr. Sam Madore and Dr. Emory Liscord
Simply Health ME - E70 Grand Rounds on the Ketogenic Diet
Simply Health ME - E69 Growth Mindset
Simply Health ME - E68 Revisiting FATS
Simply Health ME E67- The Benefits of Resistance Training
Simply Health ME - E66 Time Restricted Eating revisited
Simply Health ME E65 - The Holidays (2018 Edition)
Simply Health ME E64 - Listener Questions October 29,2018
Simply Health ME E63 - Dementia
Simply Health ME E 62 - Reflections from a 'Fat-Fueled' marathon
Simply Health ME E61 - Mindfulness
Simply Health ME E60 - Gut Micro-Biome
Simply Health ME E59 - Reflections from OMA
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