What you need to know about Serotonin

What is Serotonin? Serotonin is also known as 5-hydroxytriptamine, is a neurotransmitter that is derived from tryptophan.   Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Essential meaning that your body cannot produce it, you need to get it in through food sources such as chicken, eggs, fish, milk, bananas and cheese. What is the role of serotonin? it influences learning and memory it contributes towards happiness and reward it is involved in physiological processes such as sleep, behavior and appetite. it also has biological processes including cardiovascular function, bowel motility, and bladder control Where in the body is it made? It is mainly found in the GI tract, as well as blood platelets and the central nervous system. 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. The remaining 10% of serotonin is produced by neurons located in the CNS. Increasing Serotonin naturally improving your gut health eating tryptophan rich foods (eggs, cheese, pineapple, salmon, brazil nuts, chicken, milk) getting sunlight first thing in the morning regular exercise having quality sleep every night spending time with loved ones   How your genes are involved The DNA mind Test looks at your Serotonergic pathway. There are two main genetic alleles that are taken into account. Some people have alleles that repress the transcriptional process. This causes a boost in the 5-HT1A activity which leads to a negative feedback and thus less serotonin signaling which means you lack enough serotonin. Contact me for more information on your genetic test.

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What you need to know about Dopamine

Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter and a hormone. It is referred to as the “molecule of more”. It works together with Serotonin and norepinephrine. Every time you do something that provides a measure of pleasure or reward, dopamine is released which reinforces the behaviour. The brain’s memory center then stores that reward and that in turn increases motivation or the incentive to do it again. helps us to stay focused improves working memory is involved in anticipation helps us to feel pleasure can increase motivation regulates motor coordination Sometimes Dopamine does not function correctly, this produces a dysregulation which can result in either too much dopamine or too little. Associated with high dopamine: Poor muscle control delusions high libido insomnia mania obesity addiction schizophrenia competition aggression Symptoms of low dopamine: a lack of motivation getting bored easily can’t focus apathy fatigue anti-social addictive behaviour fear worry compulsive behaviour risk seeking binge eating opioid dependency Genetics in dopamine COMPT An increased COMT activity accelerates the breakdown of dopamine and may lead to lower dopamine levels. This affects executive functioning and can lead to addictive behaviour in an attempt to increase dopamine. DRD1, DRD2, DRD3, DRD4 Variations in these genetics can lead to bipolar, compulsive and risk-seeking behaviours, alcoholism and opioid addiction, and binge eating behaviour and ADHD. OPRM1 Opioid receptors help to regulate pain, reward, and addictive behaviour. Genetic variants can result in a risk for addiction to pain medication as well as nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol. DNA MIND GENETIC TEST The DNA Mind reports on variants in genes that have significant associations with mental health including risk for addictive behavior, cognitive decline, depression, anxiety and mood regulating. The test is suitable for those who are concerned about a family history of, or are personally suffering from mental illness, specifically around addiction, cognitive decline, or mood disorders. Contact me for more information on the test.  

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