If you have been reading some of the articles on this site you probably have noticed that we promote natural ways of enhancing serotonin levels in the body.
In this article, we will review natural serotonin and some of the ways to increase the levels naturally. Natural serotonin is produced through an amino acid that is an intermediate in tryptophan metabolism and is a direct precursor to serotonin production
This tryptophan is a vital amino acid that cannot be produced by the body and has to be taken from food. As you probably know by now, natural serotonin in a brain neurotransmitter that affects sleep, appetite, mood, muscle control, and more.
So when you experience the effects of lack of natural serotonin you will experience some side effects. This happens when your body fails to produce natural serotonin on its own. This is why you will then people taking some food to enhance the drug or some prescription SSRI antidepressants (such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil).
The fact that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most prescribed drugs for depression goes to show the importance of natural serotonin for dealing with things such as depression, lack of sleep, irritability, feeling suicidal, food cravings, etc.
So when you increase the levels in the brain, you will provide relief to your system – you stop feeling depressed, angry, irritably, and moody. You might even be able to sleep well, control your food cravings, and be in control.
Some people are known to take HTP, an amino acid, to help with the depletion of the feel-good hormone. It is claimed that is a natural way to enhance it as it is an amino acid extracted from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant. It is claimed that this provides the raw material necessary to produce serotonin in the brain.
As well as being found in the brain, serotonin is found in large amounts in the digestive system as well as the bloodstream. When the appropriate foods are digested, the body creates natural serotonin.
You can also undertake some light therapy. It simply does something that drugs cannot do. In fact, it is known to create more serotonin in the brain whereas antidepressants are said to only help your brain in using the natural serotonin that has already been produced more efficiently e.g. it helps slow its absorption in the synapses – thereby extending its presence in the brain.
So SSRIs may not be effective in many cases because of the brain’s inability to produce enough serotonin, to begin with. If existing levels of natural serotonin are too low, SSRI’s won’t be effective.
Our point here is that you cannot simply take a serotonin supplement and think you will be good to go. The brain is known to have a defense mechanism that enables it to block foreign chemicals injected into it. So this is why it is important for you to engage in light therapy in order to increase natural serotonin. You should also consult your doctor and ask if natural serotonin is appropriate in your case to engage in light therapy.
Also Read: Serotonin Defined: Understanding serotonin