Gut-Brain: The Happy Chemicals Machine In Your Gut -

Guess Where Seratonin Is Made In Your Body? 

Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that regulate mood, sleep, appetite, learning and memory.

They can make you happy, focused, and balanced … or the opposite. And, in case the title of the post didn’t give it away, they are made in the gut.

Micronutrients As Spark-Plugs To The Production Process 

The gut depends on a cocktail of amino acids, enzymes, bacteria and nutrients to get the job done. Take serotonin, the brain chemical linked to positive outlook – and the lack of, linked to depression, as an example.

Serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan. It is synthesized by two enzymes, and depends on micronutrients, often called co-enzymes, to have a spark-plug effect the production process. For example, B-6, folic acid and magnesium are known for playing key roles in the synthesis of seratonin. Furthermore, you rely on the good bacteria in your gut to provide the right condition for these important chemical reactions to take place.

Your Brain On Micronutrients

If you are deficient in any of the inputs in the neurotransmitter production chain, or your gut is a state of imbalance that inhibits the processes, you may face a problem with serotonin production.

Lack of serotonin is linked to depression, anxiety, inattention and appetite (never mind migraines and a host of other health issues). So, when you feed your gut trace minerals, probiotics and enzymes, you are quite literally feeding your brain and supporting positive chemistry. 

Micronutrients also help transmit neurotransmitters. For example, the micronutrient zinc acts on the synapse endings that transmit serotonin around the brain. Trace minerals may be small, but the consequences of their absence can severe.

Tackle Deficiencies To Support Mood Balance, Mental Clarity & Cognitive Performance

It is increasingly difficult in the modern culture of convenience to ensure you are eating a full-spectrum diet. This is not helped by the dramatic decline of nutrient density in common fruits and vegetables.

However, there may be other health reasons that you have deficiencies, or need more specific nutrients. Tackling nutrient deficiencies with high quality broad-spectrum micronutrients is a great place to start. Vitamin D alone supports state of mind: An American study[1] of elderly men and women found that vitamin D deficiency was strongly linked to low mood and some areas of cognitive performance.

Our gut, it turns out, is a complicated place. Yet we rely on it for many of the chemicals that keep us happy and balanced.

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[1] Wilkins CH., et al.: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults. Am J Geriatric Psychiatry, 2006 Dec;14(12):1032-40


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