Categories: Supplements

What is Serotonin and what are the Best Supplements for Serotonin Boost?

Are you are looking for the best supplements for serotonin boost? If yes, You are in the right place.

First thing first !!

Why Serotonin is sometimes called a Happy chemical. The answer is simple because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a chemical produced by nerve cells and used to send signals between nerve cells. It is more common in your digestive system, although it is found in other parts of the body, such as platelets and throughout the central nervous system.

Serotonin is made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. This amino acid must enter the body through food and is often found in foods such as nuts, cheese, and red meat. Tryptophan deficiency can lead to lower levels of serotonin. This can lead to mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression.

It is involved in many processes of your body, from regulating your mood to promoting gentle digestion. It is also used to promote good sleep by helping to regulate daily rhythm, regulate appetite, promote learning and memory, and promote positive emotions and prosocial behavior.

A study published in Science Daily mentioned that- Serotonin appears to be one of the major players in mood, anxiety, depression and a variety of other disorders.

If you have low serotonin, you may feel anxious, weak or depressed, irritable or aggressive, have trouble sleeping or feeling tired, feel impulsive, have a reduced appetite, suffer nausea and digestive disorders, craving sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods.

Serotonin can be treated with medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). These include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). But these medicines according to a study can cause some serious side effects in making you feel dizzy and unsteady on your feet, increasing the risk of falls and broken bones, especially in older people.

Studies found that Serotonin can be safely lowered by nonpharmacologic approaches like the use of tryptophan, bright light, and also greater prolactin release in response to fenfluramine was associated with more positive mood.

Luckily there are some supplements for serotonin boost, that can be used to naturally improve your condition.

Best Supplements for Serotonin boost

There are different supplements for serotonin boost (serotonin boosting supplements) like Amino Acid including Tryptophan, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and others, Vitamins, minerals,  herbs, and more. we will discuss these supplements one by one.

Here is a list of the best supplements for a serotonin boost.

1. Amino Acid

These amino acids can help you increase your serotonin level and can be used as a  serotonin boosting supplements and help improve other conditions.

A. Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid and the precursor of serotonin. It is most often found in protein foods, such as animal products. But as proteins block the synthesis of serotonin, the consumption of a food that contains it causes the fall of tryptophan and serotonin.

Tryptophan is converted to 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn converts to serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter for the regulation of appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. Tryptophan is a natural sedative found in dairy products, meat, brown rice, fish and soy.

Tryptophan is often used as a nutritional supplement for perceived benefits, including sleep regulation and mood. This study suggests that a daily intake of 4.5g of Tryptophan for a young adult is absolutely safe and there are no observable side effects.

Tryptophan supplements contain much more tryptophan than food sources, which can make it more likely to reach the brain.

Tryptophan is found in foods like oats, bananas, dried prunes, milk tuna, cheese, bread, chicken, turkey, peanuts, and chocolate. Now eating food containing tryptophan will increase levels of this amino acid in your body but not necessarily boost serotonin levels in your brain.

How does Tryptophan work?

Tryptophans main nootropic mechanism of action is as a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. It transforms into serotonin in the body. Depressed people have an imbalance of serotonin and other brain chemicals. An increase in serotonin levels in the brain improves the symptoms of depression. Other neurotransmitters such as melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphin increase following tryptophan supplementation.

Benefits of Tryptophan:

The following are some of the very important benefits of using tryptophan.

1. Role in Memory Enhancement

Research shows that tryptophan and serotonin play a significant role in memory enhanced brain. Serotonin has been shown to improve the cognitive performance of animals and humans and decreasing levels of serotonin.

A study done in Pakistan assessed memory in rats following tryptophan administration the rats received tryptophan doses of 50 and 100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for six weeks. The study showed significant improvement in memory of these rats following both doses of tryptophan. The second-way tryptophan enhances mood as a precursor to serotonin. Tryptophan can have a significant effect on mood supplementing with tryptophan has been shown to increase not only serotonin but growth hormone and prolactin as well.

Research shows that Tryptophan produced significant effects on mental and physical sedation but did not increase levels of tranquilization. Tryptophan provided a calming effect without knocking these guys out even at high doses.

2. It can make you Happy

Serotonin is also known as the happiness molecule and it relies on an adequate supply of tryptophan for synthesis. Researchers now recognize that the role the serotonin plays in psychiatric and behavioral disturbances which come from Center tryptophan depletion.

3. Insomnia And Anxiety

Many try l-tryptophan for the first time to cure insomnia as an alternative to prescription medicine. Taking l-tryptophan in the evening will typically ensure you’ll feel great the next day and you should have more energy for working out. Anxiety levels should decrease, happiness levels should rise.

Tryptophan could help with memory, music will sound better, feelings of self-esteem will improve and some neuro hackers report being able to taper off prescription antidepressants by septum supplementing with l-tryptophan, 5-HTP.

4. Depression

Tryptophan is a natural alternative for the treatment of depression. It is often used it all as alternatives to prescription antidepressant treatments because they don’t come with side effects.

I’ve got a study on how low tryptophan results in depression and poor cognition and I’ve got another study on how tryptophan helps manage depression.

In short, this is one of the best supplements for serotonin boost.

Always ask your doctor when you combine the two l-tryptophan with one of the antidepressant medications like SSRI and SNRI etc.  serotonin levels are boosted even more and therein lies the problem. if you increase serotonin too much you put yourself in danger of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome leads to all kinds of nasty side effects including death. so do not combine tryptophan with antidepressants unless you’re doing it under the careful supervision of a doctor. it’s much too dangerous attempting this on your own even if you read about it in clinical trials.

How much is too much? (Dosage)

The recommended dose for the tryptophan is from 100–900 mg per day. While some studies suggest that people can take up to 5 grams per day. The most common dose for tryptophan is 2 mg per day.

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B. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)

The body produces serotonin through a series of chemical steps, starting with the amino acid L-tryptophan. 5-HTP is one of the chemicals that convert from L-tryptophan to serotonin. It is also a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin.

It is also produced commercially from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia.

Like Pure Tryptophan, 5-HTP is also one of the best supplements for serotonin boost and is used in following different medical conditions.

1. Sleep disorders such as insomnia, depression, anxiety

Many studies on the health benefits of 5-HTP and sleep are based on animal models.

For example, a 2018 study examined the effects of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on fruit flies, mice, and rats. The scientists used caffeine to induce insomnia and then the GABA / 5-HTP combination. They discovered that the combination could cause sleep and seemed to improve the quality and duration of sleep.

A more detailed examination of the treatments available for sleep disorders suggests that 5-HTP may be useful in the treatment of sleep disorders, such as sleep disorders and sleepwalking.

An earlier meta-analysis analyzed the results of the 5-HTP and tryptophan studies for the relief of depression symptoms. When reviewing more than 100 studies on the subject, the authors found that few studies used high-quality methods.

A 2002 study found that taking 5-HTP reduces anxiety and panic in people with panic disorder. However, in other participants without panic disorder, the researchers found no differences in anxiety.

2. Lose weight

Ingestion of 5-HTP can promote behaviors that help a person lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

In 2017 a small study published in the journal Brain and Behavior, researchers gave a healthy 5-HTP preparation to seven healthy participants and seven to a vitamin C supplement.  Protein can help a person maintain a healthy weight. The researchers concluded that 5-HTP can help a person lose weight by reducing their desire to eat unhealthy foods.

Another small scale study examined 20 obese women, 10 of whom took a 5-HTP supplement for 4 weeks. The other 10 women took a placebo at the same time. At the end of the study, women who took 5-HTP reported a greater feeling of fullness or satiety during the meal, which resulted in a reduction in food intake.

3. Fibromyalgia

Currently, the cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but low levels of serotonin have been associated with the disease. This has led researchers to believe that increasing serotonin levels with 5-HTP supplements may be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia.

Studies on 5-HTP and fibromyalgia are limited and too old to give significant results. For example, a 1990 study showed that taking this supplement could relieve symptoms in participants with primary fibromyalgia syndrome. However, deeper and more recent studies are needed to confirm these results.

4. Migraine and tension headache

However, low levels of serotonin are usually seen in patients with depression, but patients with migraine and patients with chronic headaches may also have low levels of serotonin, both during and between attacks. It is said that 5-HTP helps migraines, which are stabbing headaches often associated with nausea or blurred vision.

This study explained that Migraine is a major health problem for women and should be treated taking into account the reproductive stages. A decrease in estrogen levels during menstruation leads to a decrease in serotonin through impaired metabolism, which can lead to migraines. So taking 5 HTP supplements can help in regulating migraine intensity.

Other of the above mentioned uses 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) this can also be used in Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), Parkinson’s disease, Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),  and seizure disorder.

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C. SAM-e (s-adenosyl methionine)

This amino acid is present in all living organisms involved in enzymatic transmethylation reactions. This type of amino acid is used as a supplement for depression, osteoarthritis, and cholestasis of pregnancy and intrahepatic cholestasis associated with liver disease.

It was discovered in 1952, it is formed by the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate. SAMe seems to be safe and can be effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis and depression. It is one of the best Supplements for serotonin boost.

One study found that SAMe had promising results in the treatment of the major depressive disorder, but that evidence of efficacy and safety of use was limited to supporting the use of monotherapy with SAMe in depression.

Another study found that SAM-e was equivalent to celecoxib (Celebrex), a prescription drug, and in 2009 was comparable to nabumetone, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

This is also one of the best supplements for serotonin boost but like all medicine, there are some common side effects associated with the use of MAS are a stomach ache, headaches, anxiety, bipolar manic episodes, depression, and fatigue.

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D. Probiotics

About 90% to 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin is one of the natural chemicals that make you feel good. Unfortunately, if the delicate balance of the serotonin-producing bacteria is interrupted, symptoms of depression and anxiety can unfortunately occur.

This study proves that probiotics can be one of the best supplements for serotonin boost and alleviating depressive symptoms. However additional studies need to further assess efficacy.

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Apart from the discussed above there are other serotonin boosting supplements that improve your serotonin levels such as Fish Oil Supplements And Vitamins Like B1, B6 and B12.


Warning

Taking these serotonin boosting supplements may sometimes (not always) raise your serotonin levels which can cause some unwanted and serious side effects such Serotonin Syndrome. The symptoms of this syndrome are:

  • High fever,
  • Irregular heartbeat, and
  • Seizures.

Always discuss with your doctor before taking herbal medicines, supplements or medicines to treat low serotonin levels.

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