How can I increase my brain chemicals

Increase Serotonin Naturally for Greater Happiness & Joy

Believe it or not, serotonin can act as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone in the body. Low serotonin levels are linked to mood disorders, bowel problems, some Parkinson's symptoms, and other health consequences. Increase serotonin naturally; and dMaintaining healthy serotonin levels can prevent numerous health problems.This post will therefore focus on serotonin, and the related questions, how

  • What exactly is serotonin?
  • What does serotonin do in the body?
  • How can I increase serotonin?
  • What are the possible risks of too much serotonin?
  • What interactions are there with drugs?

received.If you are now curious and want to learn more, then read the other article and satisfy your curiosity! πŸ˜‰

Have fun!

Table of Contents

  • What is Serotonin?
  • What does serotonin do?
  • Serotonin and other neurotransmitters
  • 39+ Ways To Increase & Boost Serotonin Naturally
    • Amino acids that increase serotonin
    • Vitamins that increase serotonin
    • Minerals that increase serotonin
    • Herbs, Plants & Extracts That Increase Serotonin
    • Drugs that increase serotonin
    • Other supplements that increase serotonin
    • Physical treatments that can increase your serotonin
    • Lifestyle changes, which can lead to increases in serotonin
    • Foods That May Boost Serotonin
  • Side effects & risks
  • Interactions with other drugs / food supplements
  • Reservations regarding the above study situation
  • Testimonials
  • Disclaimer of liability
  • What to do now
  • Recommended further reading
  • Don't forget to share! πŸ˜‰

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is an important monoamine neurotransmitter and hormone that acts on both the brain and the gut. Neurotransmitters are messenger substances released by neurons that communicate with other neurons via electrical signals. Hormones are released by glands and communicate much more slowly than neurotransmitters. Serotonin plays a major role in daily behavior, influences appetite, emotions, movements, cognition, circadian rhythm and the "unconscious" nervous system (autonomous). Serotonin is deactivated in the body by specific proteins (reuptake transporters) that take up excess serotonin released in the brain and intestines [R]. In the human body, most of the serotonin is produced, stored and released by cells in the intestinal mucosa (enterochromaffin cells). These cells produce serotonin from the amino acid L-tryptophan. Serotonin is excreted into the intestinal wall, where it can cause digestive tract movement, pain or nausea, dilation of blood vessels, and secretion of mucus and fluids. In fact, reduced serotonin levels have been linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [R, R]. In order for the brain to produce serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP must be transported across the blood-brain barrier. 5-HTP is a byproduct of L-tryptophan and is also used to make serotonin in the brain [R]. Serotonin helps maintain mental health. Serotonin is especially low in many mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sleep problems in people with Parkinson's disease are also made worse by lower levels of serotonin in the brain (including the hypothalamus) [R, R]. In addition, serotonin connects the gut microbiome with the brain - the "gut-brain interaction". Decreased diversity and stability of beneficial gut bacteria can cause serotonin-related health problems, especially in the elderly. [Receipt, receipt]. Certain bacteria in the human digestive tract can increase serotonin production in the intestines and in platelets. The intestinal flora balances the tryptophan metabolism (via the kynurenine metabolic pathway) and influences the amount of L-tryptophan that is available for the production of serotonin. [Receipt, receipt].

What does serotonin do?

Serotonin, also 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT, was discovered in the 1940s and plays a crucial role in mood, normal body conditions (homeostasis) and intestinal function. Serotonin imbalances are linked to a variety of symptoms that affect mental and physical health and affect quality of life [R, R, R]. Increasing serotonin levels can especially help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, migraines, or irritable bowel syndrome, among other illnesses [R, R, R]

Serotonin and other neurotransmitters

Monoamine neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine work together to affect mood. A meta-analysis of 90 studies found that patients lacking tryptophan, serotonin, or tyrosine had low mood [R]. An imbalance in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine can contribute to bipolar disorder. It is believed that the combined low levels of these 3 neurotransmitters, and not serotonin alone, cause mood disorders [R]. In the pineal gland, serotonin is used to make melatonin, a hormone that synchronizes the body's "biological clock" or the circadian rhythm. Low serotonin lowers the amount of melatonin that can be produced in the body and interferes with the sleep-wake cycle [R].

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Health benefits & effects

39+ Ways To Increase & Increase Serotonin Naturally

Amino acids that increase serotonin

1) L-tryptophan to increase serotonin

In the body, L-tryptophan is used to make 5-HTP, which is used to make serotonin. Increasing L-tryptophan can increase plasma serotonin and improve cognitive, motor, or bowel problems in patients who are deficient [R, R]. A protein found in milk called alpha-lactalbumin contains more tryptophan than many other proteins. In a (DB-RCT) study of 18 people, 12 grams of alpha-lactalbumin increased the amount of tryptophan in blood plasma by 16% after 90 minutes [R]. In another (DB-RCT) study, 12.32 grams of tryptophan increased blood tryptophan by 43% after 1.5 hours and improved memory in 23 highly susceptible patients [R]. In a pilot study of 13 patients with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 6 grams of L-tryptophan daily for 14 days improved mood, irritability, sleep disorders, and carbohydrate cravings [R]. Tryptophan can be purchased as L-tryptophan supplements. 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) supplements are also available. It is important to note that 5-HTP is not the same as 5-HT. 5-HT is the chemical name for serotonin. 5-HTP freely crosses the blood-brain barrier (serotonin itself does not) to be converted to serotonin [R].

You can buy L-Tryptophan here & 5-http (5-Hydroxytryptophan) here!

2) Acetyl-L-Carnitine to Increase Serotonin

Carnitine can increase serotonin in the cerebral cortex, a region of the brain involved in cognition and memory. Carnitine can also be an effective treatment for depression [R, R, R]. Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a modified form of carnitine, a common dietary supplement sold in health food stores. ALCAR protects the brain and can help with depression. In mice, serotonin levels in the cortex increased daily [R].

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3) Boost L-Theanine to Serotonin

L-theanine, an amino acid mainly found in tea leaves (e.g. green, black or oolong tea) and also something in bay bolete mushrooms, has a relaxing effect on the mind. Green tea has the highest concentration of L-theanine [Receipt, receipt, receipt]. In a cohort study of 42,093 Japanese individuals, those who consumed at least 5 cups of green tea per day experienced less psychological distress associated with reduced serotonin [R]. In rat studies, L-theanine increased serotonin levels in the brain [R].

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Vitamins that increase serotonin

1) Vitamin D to increase serotonin

Vitamin D helps the body make, release, and use serotonin in the brain. Vitamin D activates an enzyme that turns tryptophan into serotonin. When vitamin D levels are low, less serotonin can be produced in the brain. Increasing vitamin D intake thus increases serotonin levels and reduces the risk of mental disorders [R, R]. A cohort study with 9,114 volunteers showed that taking vitamin D supplements in the first year of life correlated with a 77% lower risk of schizophrenia. In other words, preventing low vitamin D levels early in life can reduce the risk of developing schizophrenia later on [R].

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2) Boost Vitamin B to Serotonin

The lack of vitamin B can be linked to the occurrence of mental disorders. The body needs vitamin B6 to make neurotransmitters like serotonin from 5-HTP (Vitamin B acts as an enzyme cofactor) [R]. Vitamins B12 and B9 are necessary for the folate cycle, which helps convert tryptophan to serotonin (by producing and recycling key cofactors) [R]. In a cohort study, 549 seniors with low vitamin B12 and B9 blood levels were more likely to have irreversible cognitive problems (memory, attention, and thinking) [R]. In rhesus monkeys, a single dose of vitamin B6 increased serotonin production in the brain [R]. Treating healthy adult rats with a vitamin B mixture increased serotonin levels in the brain [R].

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3) Increase Vitamin C to Serotonin

Vitamin C supplements over a 6 week period increased brain serotonin levels in rats [R].

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4) Boost Vitamin E to Serotonin

Vitamin E supplementation for 8 weeks increased serotonin in rats with spinal cord injury [R].

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Minerals that increase serotonin

1) Magnesium and Zinc to Increase Serotonin

Minerals like zinc and magnesium can have antidepressant effects. Zinc can be increased through diet in foods like red meat, oysters, and whole grains. Magnesium is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, and legumes [R]. In a meta-analysis of 17 observational studies, blood zinc levels were lower in depressed patients than in non-depressed patients. In a study (DB-RCT) 25 mg of elemental zinc supplements daily for 12 weeks reduced depressive symptoms in a study on 20 patients with major depression [Receipt, receipt]. Magnesium supplements increase serotonin levels by increasing their availability in the brain (reducing reuptake). In a (DB-RCT) study 500 mg magnesium per day for 8 weeks significantly improved symptoms in 60 patients with mild to moderate depression [Receipt]. In healthy rats, long-term zinc administration increased the sensitivity to serotonin in the brain (by increasing the density of serotonin receptors) [R]. Healthy rats on diets without magnesium showed symptoms of depression [R].

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2) Increase lithium to serotonin

Lithium has long been used in the treatment of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. In animal studies, lithium enhances the release of serotonin from the hippocampus, an important part of the memory brain [R].

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Herbs, Plants & Extracts That Increase Serotonin

1) St. John's wort to increase serotonin

St. John's wort is a popular medicinal herb (Hypericum perforatum) used as an antidepressant for mild depression. The plant appears to increase serotonin in the brain similar to typical antidepressants, but with fewer side effects [Receipt, receipt]. In a review of 35 studies with 6,993 patients with depression, St. John's wort single therapy improved mild to moderate symptoms just like the antidepressant and better than the placebo. The typical dose is 300 mg of the extract 3 times a day for at least 4 weeks [Receipt].

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2) boost turmeric to serotonin

Curcumin is the active component of Curcuma longa or turmeric. In stressed rats, curcumin increased the length of time active serotonin remains in the brain (by blocking the reuptake of serotonin). It also improved cognition and reduced serum corticosterone or cortisol in the rat [R]. In studies in mice, a single dose of curcumin (10-80 mg / kg) increased serotonin levels [R].

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3) Prurifers to increase serotonin

Mucuna pruriens, known as the pruning bean, fights Parkinson's disease better than standard treatment (levodopa) in rats with Parkinson's disease. Long-term use of the powder form of Mucuna pruriens restored serotonin levels in the rat brain. [Receipt].

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4) Rhodiola rosea to increase serotonin

Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant that can help improve anxiety and depression. In a (DB-RCT) clinical study with 89 patients with mild to moderate depression and low serotonin, rhodiola rosea extracts (340 mg / day and 680 mg / day) improved general depression, including insomnia and emotional instability, for 42 days [Receipt] . In 70 depressed rats suffering from chronic mild stress and serotonin deficiency, rhodiola extract (1.5, 3, or 6 g / kg) restored normal serotonin levels for 3 weeks [R].

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5) Boost Saffron to Serotonin

Safranal, one of the key active components of saffron (Crocus sativus), increases serotonin availability in the brain (by blocking reuptake) [R, R]. A meta-analysis (5 RCTs) of 177 participants concluded that 30 mg saffron capsules per day will improve symptoms of depression in adults with major depression within 6 to 8 weeks can [receipt].

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6) Ginseng to increase serotonin

Ginseng can increase the availability of serotonin in the brain (by decreasing its reuptake). Serotonin was made more available in the bloodstream in rats given ginseng extracts [R].

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7) Increase Valerian to Serotonin

The root of the Valerian plant (Valeriana jatamansi) increases serotonin levels and activity (by reducing sales) [R]. Valerian can help with irritable bowel syndrome. Interestingly, in a rat study, components of the Valeriana root balanced an overactive serotonin in the intestine (colon) and serum [R]. Valeriana officinalis root extract reduced breakdown and increased serotonin in regions of the brain associated with memory and emotion (hippocampus and amygdala) [R].

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8) Passion Flower to Increase Serotonin

The passion flower, or passiflora, contains tryptamine, which can be converted to serotonin [R]. In mouse models, passionflower enhances the effects of St. John's wort [R].

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9) Boost Apigenin to Serotonin

Apigenin is a nutrient found in citrus fruits that may improve cognition and behavior, as well as symptoms of depression and stress [R, R]. In mouse models, treatment with apigenin (10 and 20 mg / kg) for 20 days increased serotonin levels, cognition, and anxious behavior [R]. Apigenin was able to reduce the effects of chronic mild stress in rats by increasing the availability of serotonin and reducing its breakdown [R].

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10) Increase Berberine to Serotonin

Berberine is a salt made from plants in the berberis family (roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark) including barberry, tree turmeric, Oregon grapes, and others. Berberine improves mood by increasing serotonin levels and blocking the breakdown of serotonin [Receipt]. A single dose of berberine increased serotonin levels by 47% in the brains of depressed mice. Long-term treatment with berberine (5 mg / kg for 15 days) increased serotonin levels by 19% [R]. Mice given berberine in another study had elevated serotonin levels in regions of the brain (hippocampus and frontal cortex) that are important for memory and mood [R].

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11) Boost Bacopa to Serotonin

Bacopa extract comes from the Bacopa monnieri plant and is known for its antipsychotic and nootropic effects. Bacopa extract increased serotonin levels in psychotic mice and improved cognitive performance [R].

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12) Holy Basil (Tulsi) to boost serotonin

40 mg / kg of holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) increased serotonin levels in the brain and decreased stress in stressed rats [R].

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13) Increase Kava to Serotonin

Kava comes from the Piper methysticumt plant and can be taken in a beverage form or as a dietary supplement to help induce a relaxed state of mind and reduce anxiety. Kava has serotonin-like compounds and can increase serotonin-like activity (by acting on the serotonin receptors) [R, R]. In a 5-week (DB-RCT) study with 40 patients 50 mg to 300 mg per day improved anxiety symptoms [Receipt].

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14) Magnolia Tree Increase Serotonin

The bark and seed cones of the magnolia tree (Magnolia officinalis) appear to be anti-stress, anxiolytic, and antidepressant [R]. 20 and 40 mg / kg honokiol and magnolol, the main components of Magnolia officinalis, raised the low serotonin levels back to normal levels in rats with chronic light exposure [R]. Magnolia bark and ginger rhizome are widely used to treat mental disorders in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). 30 mg / kg of a mixture of magnolia bark and ginger rhizome increased serotonin in the brains of depressed mice [R].

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Drugs that increase serotonin

1) Psychedelics to increase serotonin

Psychedelics are hallucinogenic drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and mushrooms / truffles containing psilocybin. Psychedelics can stimulate serotonin activity (by binding directly to serotonergic receptors and also increasing their number), increasing serotonin levels, and reducing its breakdown [R]. In a recent pilot study (DB-RCT) of 12 patients with anxiety, 200 ΞΌg LSD significantly reduced perceived anxiety. The LSD was administered in a safe psychotherapeutic setting under medical supervision to avoid side effects [R]. In a (DB-RCT) study on 17 healthy people psilocybin (215 ΞΌg / kg) improved mood, increased purposeful behavior, and decreased the perception of negative facial expressions [Receipt]. Although the psychedelics can activate serotonin signaling, unsupervised use can lead to serious psychological consequences. Certain plant hallucinogens as well as synthetic hallucinogens can be particularly toxic [R, R, R, R].

2) Boost MDMA to Serotonin

MDMA stimulates the release of serotonin and increases serotonin activity (inhibits reuptake) [R]. A pilot study (DB-RCT) concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (25 mg or 125 mg), also known as ecstasy, helped 12 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [Receipt]. In studies in mice, MDMA increased both serotonin and dopamine release in the brain [R].

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Other supplements that increase serotonin

1) Probiotics to Boost Serotonin

In the digestive tract, probiotics restore the gut microbiome and affect gut-brain interaction. Gut bacteria are important because they can produce tryptophan, which is used to make serotonin. Many mental disorders, like Parkinson's disease, are associated with less diverse or fewer gut bacteria [R, R]. In one study (DB-RTC), an 8-week probiotic therapy (2.0 x 109 CFU / g Lactobacillus helveticus and 2.0 x 109 CFU / g Bifidobacterium longum) increased tryptophan levels in 110 people with depression. Elevated tryptophan can increase serotonin production [R, R]. A probiotic (Bifidobacteria infantis) given to rats for 14 days increased tryptophan levels in the blood [R].

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2) Omega-3 fatty acids to boost serotonin

While vitamin D helps neurons make serotonin, the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help neurons Release serotonin and improve its activity (increase in serotonin receptor sensitivity). Fish like salmon or trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid supplements are also sold as fish oil capsules [R, R]. Because vitamin D, DHA and EPA work together to maintain healthy levels of serotonin, it can Inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids increase susceptibility to psychiatric illnesses, including depression [Receipt]. In a (DB-RCT) study of 49 patients who repeatedly harmed themselves, 1.2 grams of EPA and 0.9 grams of DHA capsules daily for 12 weeks reduced suicidal ideation by 45% and depression by 30% [R] . In an observational study of 256,118 Japanese participants, people who ate fish daily had lower suicide rates compared to people who did not eat fish daily. In a further observational study with 1,767 Finnish volunteers was eating fish less than twice a week has been linked to a higher risk of depression and suicidal thoughts [Receipt, receipt]. In rats, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids (especially alpha-linoleic acid) are associated with lower serotonin activity, while DHA deficiency reduces brain serotonin in piglets [R, R]. A reduced uptake of EPA and DHA by pregnant rats led to a lower production, storage, release and activity (receptor function) of serotonin in the brains of their offspring. Serotonin was not only reduced in the maternal brains, but also in the brains of newborn rats its availability and production were reduced by 65% ​​and 29%, respectively. [Receipt].

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3) Essential Oils to Increase Serotonin

Essential oils are commonly used to reduce anxiety, stress, low mood, and other mental disorders. Smelling the essential oils (inhalation) can activate signaling pathways in the brain to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine [R]. In an (RCT) aromatherapy study of 60 geriatric patients with depression, a 5 ml blend of essential oils (containing lavender, sweet orange, bergamot, and almond oil) increased serotonin levels after twice weekly use for 8 weeks [R]. Ylang-ylang (Canaga odorata) essential oils increased serotonin levels in mice brains (hippocampus) [R]. Suriname cherry (Eugenia uniflora) essential oil has antidepressant properties as it prolongs the effects of serotonin (by blocking serotonin reuptake) in the brains of mice [R]. Bitter orange (Citris aurantifolia) is an essential oil that reduces anxiety and improves mood by increasing serotonin activity in mice after 14 days of use [R]. In rats, lavender oil also blocks the breakdown of serotonin by keeping more serotonin in the blood [R].

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4) Increase S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to serotonin

SAMe is a naturally occurring compound that plays a role in methylation and energy breakdown and may help major depressive disorder (MDD) patients who are unresponsive to conventional, synthetic antidepressants [R, R]. In a (DB-RCT) study with 73 MDD patients who did not respond to drug therapy, 800 mg twice daily improved symptoms of depression compared to placebo [Receipt]. In a (DB-RCT) study of 144 patients with MDD, 1,600-3,200 mg SAMe daily for 12 weeks significantly improved mood [R]. A review of 132 studies (115 CT and 17 preclinical studies) concluded that SAMe may be useful for not only depression, but a range of mental disorders such as substance abuse and psychosis [R].

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Physical treatments that can increase your serotonin

1) Massage to increase serotonin

Massage therapy decreased cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine in a broad population with stress-related health problems in 3 review studies [R]. In one (RCT) study, 24 adults with low back pain received either two 30-minute massages per week or were given standard relaxation procedures over a period of 5 weeks. Serotonin levels were higher in people who received massage therapy [Receipt].

2) Acupuncture to Boost Serotonin

In one (RCT) clinical trial of 75 women with fibromyalgia, acupuncture increased serotonin levels in serum compared to placebo [R]. Acupuncture increased the amount of serotonin released by white blood cells in rat studies [R]. In rats, acupuncture-like stimulation increased serotonin activity in certain regions of the brain [R].

3) Vagus nerve stimulation to increase serotonin

Long-term vagus nerve stimulation (14 days) increased serotonin levels in the rat brain [R]. In rats, sustained vagus nerve stimulation for 14 days also enhanced the effects of serotonin [R].

4) Increase Neurofeedback to Serotonin

Neurofeedback enables individuals to consciously change their brain activity (EEG waves) and thus to change their behavior and their perception. Some of its clinical uses are for migraines, ADHD, and PTSD [R]. In a SB-RCT study, neurofeedback (30 minutes, 5 sessions per week for 4 weeks) was used in 40 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The FMS patients have lower levels of serotonin and widespread pain in their muscles and bones. After 2 weeks, the patients had less pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression [Receipt].

5) light therapy to increase serotonin

Light therapy with bright light (photobiomodulation) shows promising results for depression based on clinical studies [R]. In a study of 10 women with chronic headaches (observational study) Serotonin levels were significantly increased by a daily application of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for only 34 seconds [Receipt]. In an (RCT) study of 25 drug-free hospital veterans with MDD or bipolar disorder, bright white light improved depressive symptoms. However, more research needs to be done on the negative consequences of long-term light treatment [R].

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Lifestyle changes, which can lead to increases in serotonin

1) Dance Therapy to Increase Serotonin

An (RCT) study of 40 students aged 16 and over who participated in dance moves showed that the "dancers" had elevated blood serotonin levels compared to the control group [R].

2) Psychotherapy to increase serotonin

It is believed that psychotherapy or (psychosocial) counseling can alter brain chemistry and even increase serotonin activity (by increasing serotonin receptors). In a (DB-RCT) study of 23 MDD patients who participated in psychotherapy for 4 months, psychotherapy significantly increased serotonin activity and improved symptoms of depression [R, R].

3) Stress reduction to increase serotonin

Cortisol is an endogenous hormone that is released during stress. Cortisol reduces serotonin in the body (by increasing its reuptake). Too much cortisol can put people at risk of developing mental disorders. Reducing mental stress can help balance cortisol levels and increase serotonin [R]. High stress levels or high levels of cortisol can decrease the amount of serotonin available for use in the body. In studies on human immune and brain cells, cortisol lowered serotonin levels [R]. Many of the lifestyle changes described below can be used to relieve stress as well.

4) Yoga and Meditation to Boost Serotonin

213 peer-reviewed RCTs, clinical studies, and meta-analyzes suggest that Yoga and meditation can help lift your mood and improve symptoms of mild, moderate, and treatment-resistant depression [Receipt]. In fact, meditation activates many parts of the brain that are important to understanding self, emotions, problem solving, adaptability, and increasing awareness. Serotonin plays a role in wakefulness, along with other neurotransmitters, all of which increased in meditators [R, R, R] In one (SB-RCT) study, 28 people had mild depression who participated in two 1-hour yoga sessions , improved mood compared to control group [R].

5) Training to increase serotonin

Exercise fatigue increases the amount of tryptophan, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase serotonin production. Psychological benefits of physical activity can be more easily achieved through consistent aerobic exercise [R, R, R]. Mice that ran on treadmills had higher levels of serotonin than mice that remained inactive. Brain triptophan remained high even after exercise [R].

6) Music Therapy to Boost Serotonin

Interestingly, music has been shown to increase neurotransmitters like serotonin. Indeed rats exposed to melodic music (e.g. Mozart's sonatas) released more serotonin in their brains [Receipt].

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Foods That May Boost Serotonin

Tryptophan is the amino acid building block for serotonin. Tryptophan is not made by the body, so it has to be ingested through food. Current research shows that, unlike pure tryptophan, consuming foods rich in tryptophan does not necessarily increase serotonin in the brain [R]. Tryptophan competes with other amino acids for transport across the blood-brain barrier. However, tryptophan-rich diets, such as high-carbohydrate (glycemic) index foods, meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and seeds, increase tryptophan levels in plasma rather than in the brain [R]. On the other hand, a deficiency in dietary tryptophan (compared to other amino acids) can lead to lower blood and brain tryptophan levels, which decreases serotonin production. Increased BCAAs also lower tryptophan and serotonin, as well as dopamine in the brain. This can be especially problematic for people who take protein powders to improve exercise performance [R, R].

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Side effects & risks

Side effects & risks

Excess serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal. Usually, however, serotonin syndrome is a result of drug interactions. No cases were observed only from safe, natural approaches [R]. MDMA, LSD, and other synthetic drugs can cause serotonin syndrome and should not be taken without medical supervision or outside of a psychotherapeutic setting [R]. Most of the above studies were done in adults. More research with children is needed to determine safety. Abnormally elevated serotonin levels (hyperserotoninemia) is a consistent finding in people with autism. Pregnant women with hypersterotonaemia are more likely to give birth to children with autism [R, R].


Interactions with other drugs / food supplements

Concomitant use of St. John's wort or lithium with serotonergic drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO-I), and triptans can increase the risk of life-threatening and potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome [R, R].

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Reservations regarding the above study situation

Some of these studies have fairly small sample sizes, like those on the psychedelics, the B vitamins, the minerals, and certain physical therapies. In addition, many of these natural methods of increasing serotonin in the body have only been tested on animals and require further research in humans through clinical trials. In addition to the concentration of serotonin, both the amount of serotonin receptors and their sensitivity can play an essential role in determining serotonin activity. Although serotonin is mainly produced, stored and released in the intestines, serotonin functions as an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Some of these natural remedies and supplements need further testing to see if they are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. The long-term use of these agents should also be further explored.



For reasons of space, there are 2 reviews of common food supplements, which are often used to fall asleep better or to alleviate depressive moods. Both can be traced back to serotonin, since improved sleep is also achieved by converting serotonin into melatonin.

Experience with 5-HTP:

β€œI bought this product as a sleep aid for my son. During puberty, he occasionally fails to sleep and / or does not sleep through the night. Thanks to the remedy, we can remedy the situation if necessary. It helps so well that my son is even convinced of it. "

Experiences with L-tryptophan:

β€œFor 10 years I had to deal with sometimes massive sleep problems. Long waking times, waking up frequently, hardly any deep sleep phases. The whole program. A massive impairment in quality of life. Fortunately, I've always resisted taking sleeping pills regularly because I didn't want to end up being a junkie. Even two nights in the sleep laboratory in 2016 couldn't help. There it was only found that I have a sleep problem. - Great. I also knew beforehand. Nobody could tell me the cause. And for general tips that were given to me there, I could have gone on the Internet.

Since I am physically healthy - and also quite athletic, it was actually clear to me that I must be missing some substance in my body that is causing my problem. This is how I became aware of the active ingredient "L-tryptophan". An essential amino acid that forms the substance serotonin in the body, which, if too little is available in the body, is the cause of sleep problems according to research on the internet.

Since this active ingredient is apparently free of side effects in lower doses, I started a self-experiment (my family doctor will now clap his hands over my head, but he couldn't help me either) and just tried the remedy. After 15 years, you almost don't care about anything. My goal was: If there is no improvement after 6 weeks, I will stop taking the drug again. Because I knew one thing: it takes some time for the serotonin substance to be converted in the body, so the capsule cannot work after a day.

Well what can I say. Obviously I researched happily and treated myself in this way, in any case my sleep has improved significantly for about 3 months (that's how long I've been taking the capsules).
If I gave my sleep a grade of 5 for 15 years, I now give it a grade of 2-3. There are worlds in between: I also have the feeling that things are still getting a little better. And that, although I sometimes forgot to take the capsule.
I take one capsule a day (in the evening) so 500 mg. This is a rather low dose and I have no reason to increase the dose.

It was worth trying. The fact that I am now much more concentrated and attentive during the day is a positive side effect.

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Disclaimer of liability

The opinions on this blog and the references cited are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe any disease or condition. The information cannot be used as a substitute for professional advice, treatment or diagnosis by trained and recognized doctors. Get advice from a doctor on health issues and do not change or end any treatments on your own. Likewise, you should not self-medicate without first consulting a doctor or pharmacist.

What to do now

Think about whether you want to increase serotonin naturally or not. When you've made up your mind, just do it. If necessary, you should always consult your doctor!

Recommended further reading

If you want to learn more about serotonin and ways to increase it, I can only recommend the books listed below:

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All the best

Your Daniel

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