Serotonin Myth – ‘In the 1990s, no academic could sell a message about lowered serotonin. There was no correlation between serotonin reuptake inhibiting potency and antidepressant efficacy. No one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels; they still don’t know. There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything’. David Healy Professor of Psychiatry
For decades, a story has gotten pushed about serotonin and how having more makes you happy. Meanwhile, myths aside, rising serotonin has repeatedly been demonstrated to be involved in the biological processes which promote stress, shock, and the onset of disease.
A well-functioning metabolism goes hand in hand with good digestive function. It so follows that anything interfering with thyroid energy metabolism also tends to interfere with digestion, which can then encourage the growth and spread of bacteria, as well as inhibit intestinal barrier performance. Serotonin, the vast majority produced in the intestines, is one such metabolism-interfering thing.
Increased bacterial issues generally mean greater exposure to bacterial toxins, including endotoxin (LPS). Endotoxin (like serotonin) also impedes energy system function, allowing even more significant amounts of endotoxin (and other toxins) to pass into the primary system, promoting the further release of serotonin.
When stress is high, and blood sugar is lacking, fat gets released out of storage as an alternate fuel source. Rising circulation of serotonin is one of the factors which (by promoting biochemical stress and metabolic suppression) leads to more of the stored polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) entering the bloodstream as free fatty acids, as well as being something that promotes their breakdown. The breakdown products of PUFAs significantly influence the development of chronic inflammatory issues. Endotoxin itself also causes inflammation.
Good liver function is central to proper metabolic performance. However, the rising circulation of endotoxin and serotonin plays a big part in stressing and overloading the liver, eventually preventing the liver from properly carrying out detoxification functions. It is a big reason behind the development of what gets commonly referred to as “estrogen dominance”.
Estrogen has a primary physiological role, but another popular myth is that increasing estrogen levels is good. Excess estrogen leads to more serotonin secretion, which then interferes with thyroid and energy system function, promoting stress and stimulating the release of PUFAs into circulation. Estrogen itself promotes stress and metabolic damage. An increase in serotonin, followed by rising estrogen, can begin a vicious circle of stress hormone secretion and systemic inflammation, eventually leading to degenerative disease.
One thing that is not just a myth is that suppressed thyroid energy system performance is a big part of what leads to impaired liver function and elevated levels of fat (in particular PUFAs) in the blood. In addition, it often gets followed by the onset of chronic low-level inflammation, estrogen excess, rising levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and other biochemical substances of stress (including serotonin).
All of the above can result from rising metabolic stress and dysfunction. It is central to developing numerous degenerative disease states, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, various brain disorders, and mental dysregulation issues.
Also, contrary to popular mythology, the substances of stress, nitric oxide and lactate, which rise systemically under high serotonin conditions of inflammation and energy system interference, promote further metabolic suppression, inflammation, and disease. So it is not a coincidence that they, too (especially over the long term, when chronically high), do not make you happy.
Rather than being something that it is a good idea to strive for (whether by pharmaceutical, dietary or other means), systemically high serotonin, at least according to biology, is a barrier to metabolic improvement and healing. As a result, the popular serotonin myth is a significant source of confusion and unnecessary suffering.
A big problem with foods, supplements, and medications being sold and promoted because they increase serotonin is that they sometimes do what it gets said they do. Increase serotonin.
In an upside-down world, many things that are really bad for you when in excess, like bacterial endotoxin, serotonin, estrogen, lactic acid, and nitric oxide, are not surprisingly advertised as things you need more of to be happy and healthy. So it makes you wonder why people get fooled into believing the other big myth that sugar is bad for you.
Fruit sugar or sucrose, combined with easily digestible protein, vitamins, and minerals, from milk, cheese, and gelatinous meats, is one example of a practical approach to lowering serotonin. And it can promote thyroid energy metabolism and protect against all the overly stressful and inflammatory factors mentioned above.
If you like what I have to say, and want more information (including lots of studies), showing ways that serotonin and other stressful substances promote stress, inflammation and disease, please check out some of my other articles. It includes Sorry! We Meant To Say Lower Serotonin in The AntiDepressing eBook. Please share this and sign the email list up top.
Copyright 2021, by Dan M @ CowsEatGrass. All rights reserved (except for quotations and images having their own protected copyrights). This copyright protects author-publisher Dan M’s right to future publication of his work in any manner, in any and all media — utilizing technology now known or hereafter devised — throughout the world in perpetuity. Everything described in this publication is for information purposes only. The author-publisher, Dan M, is not directly or indirectly presenting or recommending any part of this publication’s data as a diagnosis or prescription for any ailment of any reader. If anyone uses this information without the advice of their professional health adviser, they are prescribing for themselves, and the author- publisher assumes no responsibility or liability. Persons using any of this data do so at their own risk and must take personal responsibility for what they don’t know as well as for what they do know.
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