Improving Brain Function by Optimizing Gut Health

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Functional Medicine, Gut health, Nutrition | 1 comment

Balance

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter and is biochemically derived from tryptophan, the amino acid inhibited by glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup).  Serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of animals and humans. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of wellbeing and happiness.  Approximately 90% of the human body’s total serotonin is located in the gut where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. The remainder is synthesized in serotonergic neurons of the central nervous system, where it has various functions. These include the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep.

Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Modulation of serotonin at synapses is thought to be a major action of several classes of pharmacological antidepressants.  No less than 90% of serotonin uptake is from the gut.  Neurochemicals produced by gut bacteria including lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are actively absorbed in the intestines and found in the blood.

Researchers suggest that more women than men suffer from depression due to the fact that men synthesize serotonin at a rate 52 percent higher than women.  Low serotonin in women is associated with depression and anxiety, and in men it is associated with aggression and alcoholism. Serotonin deficiency is also associated with hormone imbalance—low estrogen in women and low testosterone in men; lack of light, exercise, vitamins and minerals; and the presence of chronic stress.

Learn more about brain and gut health in Dr. Deanna’s Healing Handbook.

1 Comment

  1. Great post. It always fascinating to read about the gut and learn new things. As a health coach its helpful to know that low levels of serotonin in women is associated with depression and anxiety, and in men it is associated with aggression and alcoholism. Could be a great place to start when working with clients that have these kinds of challenges. Bill

Leave a Reply