The Brain, Serotonin & Mood
Your body operates on signals from the brain called neurotransmitters (NTs). These NTs are chemicals sent by neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to signal your heart to beat, stomach to digest and lungs to breathe. They also influence your sleep, weight, concentration and mood, causing adverse symptoms when out of balance. Diet, drugs, genetic predisposition, stress, alcohol and caffeine use can affect levels.
Neurotransmitters are generally categorized as excitatory which stimulate the brain and inhibitory which are calming and help balance the brain. The inhibitory NTs are often low in situations where the excitatory are over reactive. Excitatory NTs include epinephrine, norepinephrine, histamine and dopamine. Inhibitory NTs are serotonin, GABA and dopamine. Dopamine plays a dual role in driving our focus on one hand and also lightening our mood to be happy, carefree on the other.
In certain conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia, depression, alcoholism, serotonin is found low. This affects our ability to be upbeat, to sleep and modify pain signals. In fibromyalgia (FM) for example, substance P is higher in spinal fluid. Substance P is a NT that sends pain signals and FM is considered an amplified pain condition with nerves firing more pain signals than serotonin, the inhibitory NT, can quiet. Remember inhibitory NTs can become low when excitatory NTs are overactive.
Serotonin can help reduce over-excited pain signals and offer a sense of well-being and calmness. Restoring serotonin levels often helps bring balance back, support an uplifted mood, improve sleep and decrease pain levels. Serotonin helps regulate daily and seasonal rhythms (converts to melatonin) which may counter "winter blues" and jet lag, too. As a building block of serotonin, David's 5-HTP SR™ in the sustained form helps our body manage levels easier and may be the "serotonin solution" for you. Another requirement for healthy serotonin levels is magnesium and B6 since your body cannot synthesize serotonin without these two important nutrients. Fibro-Care™ offers Albion's organic based magnesium and includes B6 in the formula so it is often paired with 5-HTP for pain and mood support.
In order for your body to manufacture NTs, it requires a steady supply of amino acids. Other nutrients which help a healthy brain and neuron-signalling are essential fatty acids (fish, krill or flaxseed oil) and the B vitamins (often called the "de-stress" vitamins). Other supporting vitamin and mineral cofactors needed can be easily supplied with a daily like Multi-Gold™. Phosphatidyl Serine may increase messaging potential between nerves and thus is also a team player for improving mood and focus. Research by Dr. Cordero and colleagues found a correlation between low CoQ10 and serotonin levels. When CpQ10 was supplemented, serotonin levels improved as did sleep, pain and mood. The dose that Dr. Cordero found that "worked" the best was 100 mg up to 3 times a day in a divided dose.
Note: There is a big difference between the occasional mood swings and depression. Please seek a health care professional to be appropriately diagnosed and treated.
©TyH, Inc. For informational purposes only. Please consult your health care provider for any personal medical advice.