Nutrition: Serotonin

Stay happy with sun and serotonin.

By Eric Chen, WAC Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

The neurotransmitter serotonin regulates a wide variety of brain function such as decision-making, social and impulsive behavior, and mood regulation. As we continue to discover more about brain chemistry, we are finding out that vitamin D and specific omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) control the synthesis and actions of serotonin in the brain. When individuals have inadequate levels of vitamin D (this includes almost 70 percent of the population) and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, serotonin synthesis is not optimal. To make ensure maximum serotonin production in our brains, I recommend a comprehensive approach using a healthy diet that includes marine fats, sun exposure, and a vitamin D supplement (especially for us Seattleites).

If you find that it’s tough to get in a serving of fatty fish daily and your vitamin D is low due to cloudy days, stop by the 4th Floor Wellness Center for a complete omega-3 fish oil supplement combined with 1000 mg of EPA and DHA. This concoction includes the fat-soluble vitamins D and K to maximize bioavailability, making it easier for your brain to synthesize serotonin.

—Published May 17, 2017

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