“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.
The lowered serotonin story took root in the public domain rather than in psychopharmacology. This public serotonin was like Freud’s notion of libido—vague, amorphous, and incapable of exploration—a piece of biobabble.
The myth co-opted the complementary health market. Materials from this source routinely encourage people to eat foods or engage in activities that will enhance their serotonin levels and in so doing they confirm the validity of using an antidepressant.”
David Healy professor of psychiatry
Meanwhile, myths aside, rising serotonin has been consistently shown to be directly and indirectly involved in many of the biological processes related to stress, shock and the onset of disease.
Anything (and that includes serotonin), that interferes with thyroid function and energy metabolism, also slows digestion, leading to an increase in bacteria, as well as a greater degree of permeability in intestinal lining.
This then exacerbates the degree to which bacterial endotoxin is absorbed into the blood stream, leading to further release of serotonin.
Rising serotonin is a factor causing polyunsaturated fats to enter the blood stream from storage (as well as promoting their toxic breakdown), a major prerequisite for the development of chronic inflammation.
The absorption of endotoxin into the blood stream, as well as the increase in serotonin, both play a part in gradually stressing and overloading the liver, preventing proper detoxification, and directly promoting what is commonly known as ‘estrogen dominance.’
Excess estrogen leads to increased serotonin secretion, as well as further interfering with thyroid function and suppressing energy systems, stimulating the release of the polyunsaturated free fatty acids, and creating a vicious cycle of stress hormone activity, inflammation and disease promotion.
It is not a myth that suppressed thyroid function, chronic low level inflammation, estrogen dominance, persistently rising levels of cortisol and adrenalin, as well as impaired liver function and abnormally elevated levels of fat (in particular polyunsaturated fat) in the blood, have all been consistently shown to be factors which are involved in the development of numerous degenerative and disease states, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, numerous brain disorders, as well as many mood disorders.
As serotonin levels throughout the body are increased by (as well as increase) all of the disease promoting factors mentioned above (and numerous other related stress hormones and inflammatory mediators), the myth encouraging the use of any and all available means possible, to raise serotonin, can be more easily understood to be a significant barrier to effective treatment and healing of many conditions, and a source of a great deal of confusion and unnecessary suffering.
Unfortunately, many foods and supplements which are being promoted because they are either naturally high in serotonin, or because they promote the release of serotonin, do, in fact, do exactly that.
Fruit sugar or sucrose, on the other hand, in combination with sufficient amounts of easily digestible protein, vitamins and minerals, from milk, cheese or gelatin, as one example, can be an effective approach to lowering serotonin, as well as directly and indirectly promoting thyroid and energy metabolism, and suppressing and protecting from all of the factors mentioned above, which play a part in faster aging, degeneration and disease.
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