This article defines the term "natural serotonin" and provides some guidance on whether its a good option for those suffering from anxiety or depression.
Anxiety and depression of often treated by drugs such as SSRIs that manipulate the serotonin system within the central nervous system. These drugs can be highly effective and are often the best course of treatment for individuals with moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, if you have mild symptoms, the side effects of these drugs might not be worth the benefits and natural serotonin might be a good option for you.
What is natural serotonin?
Natural serotonin is a set of natural amino acids used by the central nervous system to create serotonin. These amino acids exist naturally in many of the high protein foods we eat every day such as meats, nuts, and many vegitables. Natural serotonin refers to supplements that contain concentrated amounts of the amino acids tryptophan or 5-HTP for the purpose of increasing serotonin levels within the central nervous system.
Who should take natural serotonin?
Anyone with mild symptoms of depression and anxiety can benefit from supplementing their diet with natural serotonin.
Who should avoid Natural Serotonin?
Individuals currently on any depression medication should avoid taking natural serotonin. The interaction between these medications and natural serotonin could result in dangerously high serotonin levels resulting in a condition called serotonin syndrome. We do not recommend taking Natural Serotonin if you have an impaired immune system or if you are pregnant.
We also do not recommend attempting to treat moderate to major depression or anxiety without the guidance of a doctor. These more severe conditions require a doctor to create and monitor a treatment regimen.
How effective is Natural Serotonin?
For individuals with mild symptoms of depression and anxiety, natural serotonin can be very effective. Typically, you will start noticing a difference within a day and know if its an effective option for you within a week.
We recommend taking 5-HTP instead of Tryptophan as it requires less work for the body to transform 5-HTP to serotonin. (tryptophan is actually converted into 5-HTP prior to being used to create serotonin.)
Does natural serotonin have side effects?
While most people do not experience any side effects it can result in headaches, drowsiness, and digestive upset.
What about other herbal depression remedies such as St. John's Wort and SAM-e?
There is evidence to show these remedies can be effective, however, they are not "natural serotonin" in that they do not increase the production of serotonin within the central nervous system.
At Serotune we offer Amino Balance, a source of natural serotonin supplement
. It contains three different amino acids targeted at improving mood, concentration, and reducing symptoms of anxiety.