“What is Serotonin and Signs of Serotonin Deficiency?”

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Helen Sanders reports in Health Ambition on ways to address a hypothetical serotonin deficiency; “Exercise is known to reduce stress, relieve depression, and increase happiness, stamina and endurance. Antidepressants can have some pretty serious unwanted side effects. Exercise has nothing but positive side effects for the health of your brain and your body … There are plenty of studies that prove exercise helps increase serotonin levels in the brain. That’s why people can get addicted to exercise so easily, because it makes them feel so good.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry Kermit, but this is a TERRIBLE article with many awful nonsense messages which “buy into” chemical imbalance myths in the worst way eg “There’s long been an association made between serotonin and depression. It’s still unknown what comes first; low serotonin or depression. Does depression cause lower serotonin or does lower serotonin cause depression? Scientists aren’t sure yet… According to Science Daily, low serotonin has also been linked to other important disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and sleep disorders.” “A serotonin deficiency can cause us to seek out other ways to balance out the chemicals in our brain.”

    All utter BS, and interspersed with terrible pseudoscientific guff – looks like a pharma DTCA job, except from a “lifestyle channel”. And the other “academic” article which states “For the last 4 decades, the question of how to manipulate the serotonergic system with drugs has been an important area of research in biological psychiatry, and this research has led to advances in the treatment of depression.” also complete nonsense – it’s advertising with pseudoscientific sheen.

    Please consider highlighting how THE CHEMICAL IMBALANCE / WONKY SEROTONIN MYTH IS PERVASIVE. including in “lifestyle / natural health” circles.

    Exercise because it’s good for you, connect with others because love matters, be kind on yourself – and DON’T buy into “my sadness / anxiety means i’m chemically faulty”.

    With thanks for the great stuff you usually post, and kind caution regarding posting dodgy stuff!

    Rob Purssey

  2. what the fuck is a “serotonin deficiency”? sounds like vitamin-b12 or iron deficiency, but “serotonin deficiency” is just bullshit, like the article and the video is bullshit. why does madinamerica post a link to bullshit?

  3. The fact is that they’ve done real, scientific studies where they lowered people’s serotonin levels to see if they became depressed and guess what??????? They didn’t. This entire bull feces myth was disproven a long time ago but for some reason just won’t die and go away like it so badly needs to do.

    Guess what organ in your body has more serotonin than any other in your entire body? Not y9our brain but your stomach. Serotonin is a regulator of many things but it doesn’t regulate sadness. Sadness is not a disease or an illness but something that all humans experience at one time or another in their lives. It has nothing to do with brain chemistry. And guess what? Psychosis is not caused by too much dopamine. When are we going to rise up and demand that these pseudo scientific pieces of bologna are put to rest?

  4. The thing I’ve found weird with the supposed ‘serotonin deficiency’ is that serotonin is not in itself a natural product of the human body. It is a byproduct, or aftercursor(?) of tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin (and melatonin). And tryptophan can only be introduced in the diet.

    So, my problem with the ‘serotonin deficiency’ and the suggestion that a lack of serotonin produces depression (and other ‘mental disorders’) is that serotonin comes from tryptophan, which comes from a persons diet, yet psychiatry and the pseudoscientific chemical imbalance theory says if you have a serotonin deficiency then you need to take an SSRI (serotonin specific reuptake inhibitor) to increase your brains levels of serotonin, but they never ever mention tryptophan or diet. If you have a lack of serotonin it means your diet is lacking tryptophan, but psychiatry never mentions this fact and instead focuses on a pill for serotonin.

    The simple solution to having a serotonin deficiency (not that I believe the psychiatric chemical imbalance bollox in the first place), rather than popping a pill, is to increase the amounts of tryptophan in your diet, but psychiatry only focuses on a pill to increase (or reduce reduction of) serotonin. I find this a little, how do you say it, batshit insane?

    I hope this makes sense. I’ve had a few drinks so might be making less sense than usual and rambling a little.

    Anyways, my point is, psychiatry says a people need a serotonin pill to increase their supposed lack of serotonin, when the simple solution which psychiatry completely ignores is the fact that serotonin is a byproduct of tryptophan which comes from diet. Increase tryptophan in your diet will increase levels of serotonin in your blood/brain. It’s not rocket science. But hey, psychiatrists aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.

  5. The only way to identify a “serotonin deficiency” would be to determine a “normal” level of serotonin and then measure another person’s serotonin against that measure. Of course, this has never been done, and is actually impossible, because serotonin levels vary widely from day to day and moment to moment, depending on what is happening to you. You know someone has low iron because you know what a normal iron level is and you can measure their iron levels. We have no standard for normal serotonin levels, and no way to measure someone’s current levels meaningfully, so why the hell is anyone even talking about this any more?

    • Not to mention serotonin is both in the brain and the body, so a blood test may be able to see how much serotonin is in your system but it would be measuring body serotonin, not brain.

      And yeah, there is no known ‘normal’ level of serotonin, so there’s nothing to measure it against. Not only do they not know what a ‘normal’ level is but they also don’t even measure the current level.

      That’s why I find it so hard to understand exactly how the chemical imbalance theory, and especially the serotonin deficiency, became so widespread and accepted. Not only does science disprove the theory but it also doesn’t stand up to logic or scrutiny.