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All of the B vitamins are needed for a healthy, functioning nervous system and several are needed to synthesize serotonin (16).
Here are a few that are integrally connected to serotonin production.
Do so only if you are working with a knowledgeable health care professional. Tryptophan: Tryptophan might seem like a logical serotonin supplement to try first since tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin.
Together, they can cause too large an increase in serotonin, which can result in a potentially serious condition known as serotonin syndrome. Tryptophan is an amino acid commonly found in protein-rich foods like animal products.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Vitamin B6 must be present to facilitate conversion of either 5-HTP or tryptophan into serotonin (17, 18).
Often 5-HTP or tryptophan supplements also contain B6 for this reason.
SAM-e (s-adenosyl methionine): SAM-e naturally occurs in every cell of the body and brain and fuels over 100 metabolic reactions. In Europe, SAM-e is used as a prescription medication for depression, liver disease, and osteoarthritis (11).
SAM-e supplements are synthetically derived and sold in the U. Several studies show that SAM-e works as well for depression as some anti-depression medications by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and other “feel good” brain chemicals (12, 13).
Unfortunately, this supplement’s usefulness for depression may be more hype than substance.
Several other brain-related disorders besides depression are related to low serotonin, including autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia (3).
Many people with depression or other serotonin deficiency symptoms and conditions are searching for better ways to increase serotonin levels naturally without the use of drugs.
Within a few months, this inevitably causes a cascade of negative side effects (10). Datis Kharrazian, author of , lists these co-factors as needed for the synthesis of either tryptophan or 5-HTP to serotonin — vitamins B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, and magnesium.
Look either for serotonin boosting supplements that contain these along with the main active ingredients or add them separately with a high-quality multivitamin mineral supplement.5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan): 5-HTP could be considered as either an amino acid or herbal supplement.