Did you know that over 90% of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut to regulate the movement of your intestines?
The remaining over 5% is produced in your central nervous system – your brainstem to be exact, where it transmits signals between nerve cells in your brain.
Serotonin is often called the “happy molecule” but its functions expand well beyond that simple title.
Serotonin not only gives you those happy, joyful, and calm feelings, it’s also responsible for some of your body’s most important functions such as sleep, appetite, and digestion.
Serotonin imbalance is associated with a host of symptoms that can disrupt your mental, emotional, and physical health — even your quality of life.
When you don’t have adequate levels of serotonin, it can cause a TON of symptoms:
- Loss of pleasure
- Mental obsessions
- Depressed mood
- Sleep-cycle disturbances
- Sweets and carbs cravings
- Low sex drive
- Digestive health issues
Maintaining healthy serotonin levels is linked with improved physical and psychological symptoms, positive social behavior, and greater overall health.
You may be wondering:
“What makes me have low serotonin levels?”
There are dozens of lifestyle factors that can influence serotonin levels either positively or negatively.
But in order for the body to build this neurotransmitter in the first place, we need to get adequate amounts of dietary precursors — the building blocks of serotonin.
How to boost serotonin production naturally
Here’s how to help your serotonin levels:
- Eating foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, such as nuts, salmon, and eggs
- Mindfulness practice (eg: meditation)
- Exercising regularly
- Minimizing alcohol intake
- Getting plenty of natural light
- Taking a serotonin-boosting supplement
If you believe you have serious depression, it’s important that you develop a treatment plan with your health care professional.
But if you’d like a mood boost from time to time, or are just trying to be more productive at work, it’s worth remembering that your brain functions better with an adequate supply of serotonin.
Bellow are best known serotonin nootropics recommendations.
Notice that some of them are not safe to take to naturally treat depression.
Best Nootropics for serotonin
This essential amino acid is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin and niacin (Vitamin B3) in your body. Adding tryptophan to your stack can help boost your serotonin levels. And should help with anxiety, ADHD, depression, insomnia, memory loss, pain and eating disorders.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic plant, which is known to increase resistance to stress, making it easier to cope in difficult times. It gives a great boost to the body’s energy when used in smaller doses because it stimulates norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, and they are all those neurotransmitters involved in establishing our circadian rhythm when we wake up from sleep. It can actually work in both directions – in higher doses it becomes more of a depressant.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids in the brain are typically either docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is thought to promote the activity of the serotonin receptor in the brain, making it more receptive to serotonin signals and thus boosting mood. Whereas EPA is actually thought to promote serotonin release in the brain. This dual approach is supportive of the important role for omega-3 fatty acids in the serotonin pathway. What remains unclear is why not all individuals see a positive effect following supplementation given such a clear pathway exists.
Vitamin D is known for its association with sunshine, and the fact that many of us are deficient. There are numerous studies linking this deficiency with low levels of serotonin and depression, and especially seasonal affective order (SAD), with strong evidence that supplementation may be beneficial. Vitamin D can bind, and promote activity of conversion of typtophan into 5-HTP and then into serotonin.
L-theanine supplementation has positive effect on mood. So it is unsurprising to see that a direct link between L-theanine and serotonin and dopamine levels exists.
Supplements with too much Serotonin
We do NOT recommend using these supplements for treating depression. But thought to include it here since it is promoted as a “natural antidepressant” that boost serotonin.
This amino acid is naturally produced in your body. And synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan which we get from food. 5-HTP is the precursor needed to produce the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter serotonin. 5-HTP, may increase serotonin, but it does so at the expense of your other neurotransmitters. Combining 5-HTP supplement with SSRI’s, Tricyclics or MAOI’s will cause Serotonin Syndrome. And the side effects on its own are nasty. Or even deadly.
St. John’s wort
This plant has traditionally been used for mood disorders and wound healing. Today it’s used mostly as a treatment for anxiety, depression and stress. St. John’s wort works like prescription SSRI’s by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in your brain. There is the potential to dangerously increase serotonin levels if taken in conjunction with other serotonin boosters, and several quite serious side effects have been described
SAM-e is the naturally occurring amino acid methionine linked to the ATP molecule. It helps in the process of cell division and repair and the creation of neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin. Which is why it is considered a powerful nootropic agent.
You may also find it interesting to know:
Like anything in life, too much isn’t necessarily a good thing. In extreme cases, high levels of serotonin can result in a DANGEROUS condition called serotonin syndrome.
“So wouldn’t taking a serotonin supplement out me at risk?”
Serotonin syndrome is most often the result of medication use or complication, and while natural supplement have been shown to increase serotonin levels, when taken as recommended, the risk of excess is very low.
Keep in mind…
Brain chemistry and emotional states are an incredibly complex field it’s one we’re continuing to learn more about every year.
However, we do know that serotonin does play a key role in our ability to feel calm, relaxed, and happy.
Best Serotonin Supplement
Perhaps you’re thinking:
“Ok great, I heard that eating turkey at Thanksgiving has a precursor to serotonin, right?….”
Foods such as turkey, nuts, seeds, eggs contain tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin.
But there’s a problem…. Other amino acids COMPETE for absorption.
One of the BEST ways to naturally boost your serotonin is through a high quality supplement:
Purified tryptophan sources or 5-HTP (the next precursor in the metabolic cycle) are more easily transported to your brain and don’t have to compete with the other amino acids!
The key to finding a GREAT supplement is to look for the precursor tryptophan, plus additional cofactors such as B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
PLUS it has the best quality Rhodiola Rosea (root) extract — adaptogen herb, traditionally linked to the resistance to stress.
“So where can I find a supplement like that?!”
Serotonin Brain Food™ is an award winning natural nootropic that contains all of those precursors and cofactors to serotonin. It makes the ideal addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Unique Selling Points
- Natural neurotransmitter support for a positive mood.
- Contains an amino acid precursor (L-Tryptophan), serotonin metabolism cofactors (Vitamin B3, Zinc, & Magnesium), and an herbal extract to reduce cortisol (Rhodiola Rosea).
- This natural formula contains the precursors and cofactors required for healthy serotonin metabolism.
- Supports a positive mood and social ability
- Maintains healthy appetite and digestion
- Promotes calmness and sense of well-being
- Relieves stress and frustration
- Rhodiola Rosea
- 400 mg per serving
- Used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, this well-studied adaptogenic herb supports recovery and may reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It has also been linked to improved mood, providing an uplifting boost in performance and energy.
- 1,250 mg per serving
- L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is one of the required nutrients for natural serotonin synthesis. The most common dietary sources of tryptophan include nuts and seeds, meats and dairy, fish and legumes.
- Vitamin B3
- 150 mg per serving
- Vitamin B-3 (Niacinamide) is an essential vitamin that is also a necessary cofactor for the proper metabolism of fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol. It’s also closely involved in cell signaling and DNA repair. It’s used most extensively in the brain, gut and skin, which have a high cellular turnover rate. Our Vitamin B-3 source is a niacinamide, which has been carefully selected to reduce incidences of flushing – many other Vitamin B-3 sources are niacin, which can cause uncomfortable skin flushing.
- Magnesium Glycinate
- 50 mg per serving
- Magnesium Glycinate supports normal attention, memory, and stress reduction.
- Zinc Glycinate
- 20 mg per serving
- Zinc glycinate is a critical factor in maintaining a healthy immune system, supporting optimal cell division and replication.
How To Take Serotonin Brain Food™
Please consult with a medical doctor before combining Serotonin Brain Food™ with other medications.
Take a serving of 2-3 capsules to support a positive mood, during situations of stress or irritability, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.
- Q: What is Serotonin Brain Food™?
A: Serotonin Brain Food is the all-natural supplement designed to optimize levels of the neurotransmitter Serotonin.
- Q: Is it safe to ingest serotonin?
A: With Serotonin Brain Food, you are NOT ingesting the neurotransmitter directly.
Like all of Natural Stacks Brain Foods, Serotonin Brain Food contains the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are involved in the metabolism of that respective neurotransmitter. You are not directly ingesting or manipulating that neurotransmitter. By providing your body the nutrients it needs to metabolize these neurotransmitters, it is able to achieve optimal levels naturally. This method of naturally finding optimal levels also removes the chance of habituation or down-regulation, so can safely take our Brain Foods to achieve and maintain optimal levels of Serotonin for long-term use.
- Q: Can dopamine and serotonin be taken together?
A: The brain food products are natural precursors and cofactors for the specific neurotransmitters. You’re not forcing your brain into that state. If you already have enough dopamine / serotonin you are not going to produce more. All of Natural Stacks supplements are designed so that they can be taken (or stacked!) together.