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Can high or low levels of serotonin cause depression?

Discussion in 'Educating Doctors' started by Jack Kruse, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    The short answer is yes. The why is longer. It's gonna be long but detailed. Serotonin is made from dietary breakdown of carbohydrates especially in foods high in phenylalanine, Leucine and tryptophan. These are found in fruits that grow in long light conditions. Serotonin balance in the brain is just that.....a balancing act. It is a question of balance from hormonal control and our biochemistry. Once the carbs are absorbed most of the AA that form serotonin are collected in the enterochromaffin cells of the gut. There is also serotonin in the brains serotonergic nerve tracts. Serotonin is closely regulated in the gut and brain. Excess serotonin is converted to melatonin by the brains' pineal gland when darkness is present for at least 3-4 hrs. This assumes that your pineal gland is not calcified and is working well. Don't assume this because I have not seen a non calcified pineal in 20 years of being a neurosurgeon. If there excess is greater it remain tied up in the gut but will eventually have to be dealt with.

    Sleep diurnal rhythms are tied to light cycles of our sun. Carbohydrates tend to be more plentiful when the light is out for longer periods of time. That is why fruit is plentiful in summer. Therefore, sleep tends to control your appetite for carbs. And we know scientifically that serotonin balance is tied to ghrelin and leptin. Nature matches biology in balance. Of course that assumes you still have control and that loss of insulin regulation or signaling is not present, or there is no sources of artificial things like light or "fake foods" (HFCS) to fool your biochemistry. Approximately 80 percent of the human body's total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the gut, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. So excess is stored here. The brain serotoninergic nerves have the rest. The plasma level is the variable part of the equation based upon the organisms surroundings and hormone status and their light levels.

    So when there is no control in this system one gets even more serotonin from carbohydrate use. You have zero balance. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION HERE, BOTH LOW AND HIGH LEVELS OF SEROTONIN CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION! And if your eating more carb substrate the problem is even worse. And when you don't sleep well you don't convert serotonin to melatonin so it builds up even more. The brain has to do alternative things with the serotonin. High levels of serotonin then are allowed to persist and it begins to fry your neurochemistry in many parts of your brain. The sympathetic nervous system is one of those systems among others. But that system requires nerve growth factor, and brain derived neurotropic factor. Both of these chemical replenish old worn out cells from our stem cell population. If those systems no longer work then high serotonin constantly makes cells stressed and drives cells into apoptosis (suicide) and there is less chemicals around that allow our stem cells to replace them. When cells are not replaced at appropriate times the synapse ages and the amount of serotonin in the nerve terminals seriously degrades. That means intracellular serotonin plummets!!!! So the serotnergic system in the brain has LOW LEVELS of serotonin in it but the PLASMA LEVELS ARE HIGH and the serotonin can not be utilized in the cells of the brain. The constant high levels of plasma serotonin exacerbate the condition further. Simultaneously, High levels of serotonin also increase ROS generation from our mitochondria because as cells age and they can be replaced because there are no more stem cells, older cells have to stick around and face the constant bombardment of oxidative phosphoryaltion. This is a chemical process necessary for life but incredibly abrasive to biologic systems. That is why the mitochondria is walled off from the cell and why it has an inner and outer membrane too.

    Low levels of newly generated NGF also completely depletes our ability to lay down new memories because we can not make new nerve cells from stem cells. So we become more forgetful too and depressed because our old worn out cells are stuck. Loss of sleep also leads to higher levels of cortisol......you know this is not going to end well don't you now. This is like throwing gasoline on a burning house. It does not get better. Cortisol chronically raised, decreases your immune system function. Specifically, natural killers and T cells. We also know from Dr Dean Cruess work at UPenn that people who lack sleep are more likely to choose foods upon waking that put on extra pounds. Refined Carbs to replenish the perceived CNS losses! The factory worker dont realize there is no more boxes to stroe all the serotonin they have got!!! They want to replace the old serotonergic synapses that cant be recycled because of the stem cell issue. Subsequently, you're less motivated to make better decisions when your tired. You're also less motivated to exercise for the same reason.

    You become a dog chasing its tail. Its a feedback loop that goes awry. Same as it does in insulin resistance, leptin resistance and any other hormonal feedback loop you want to study.
  2. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    If someone were taking the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine, wouldn't the body convert these precursors (assuming it is able to) to neurotransmitters as needed, and use the rest of the amino acids for other purposes? Well, re-reading what you wrote tells me that the gut can overproduce serotonin from precursors, if control is lacking.
    Guess timing is everything.
  3. HoneyChild

    HoneyChild Gold

    What do you think of this study?

    Scientist Shows Link Between Diet and Onset of Mental Illness

    Joseph Garner, an associate professor of animal sciences, fed mice a diet high in sugar and tryptophan that was expected to reduce abnormal hair-pulling. Instead, mice that were already ill worsened their hair-pulling behaviors or started a new self-injurious scratching behavior, and the seemingly healthy mice developed the same abnormal behaviors.

  4. bonsaiz

    bonsaiz New Member

    Thank you for sharing such link here. i always wonder about the link between the food and mental health and now i got it. Thank you again for such information.
  5. bonsaiz

    bonsaiz New Member

    I always think about the depression and diet connection. I always find it interesting and yes the post above is the same. I like that kind of information.
  6. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    If you're dehydrated with out being able to make water micelles around your mitochondria THE PROCESS IS EVEN SLOWER AND SLEEP IS WORSE.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  7. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Dr. K. - thanks for that ....... I love that I am understanding this ........ hugely important
  8. Melanie Procter

    Melanie Procter New Member

    How can you decalcify a pineal gland?
    Martin likes this.
  9. Allin

    Allin New Member

    Circadian rhythm correct, SCN clock running fastest, DHA from sea food, a bit of bare feet in the grass and water without fluoride, chlorine or bromides. Now to set your rhythm, your eyes and skin has to see the early AM sun, don't sleep in the middle of WiFi, you can't be blue light toxic to get your SCN running fastest, etc...
    Cpt.Tired and Joe Gavin like this.
  10. Cpt.Tired

    Cpt.Tired New Member

    Makes you wonder why the hell they would make fluoride one of the main chemicals in SSRI's. I was on one called 'Fluvoxamine' for years!

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