Serotonin: An Essential Chemical for Improved Mental Health

How you feel about yourself affects how you deal with problems. Mood swings, stress, anxiety and depression can negatively affect your health. One way to balance your overall health, especially your mental health, is by increasing your serotonin levels.

What is Serotonin?

serotonin

Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is commonly known as the “happy hormone”. It is a chemical or neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating various functions of the body. It is a product of a biochemical conversion process. In this process, tryptophan (a building block for proteins) and tryptophan hydroxylase (a chemical reactor) are combined. In simple words, serotonin makes us feel happy.

How does it affect mental health?

Studies show that our brains require the right amount of serotonin to function well. According to Simon N. Young (editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience), people who have higher levels of serotonin exhibit better moods than those who have lower serotonin levels. Some people, however, naturally have less than the required amount of serotonin in their system. This can lead to symptoms often associated with low levels of serotonin, which are mood swings, stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.

This chemical imbalance usually happens when the brain produces more fear-related neurotransmitters (adrenaline) than neurotransmitters that are related to happiness and relaxation (serotonin).

How can you increase your serotonin level?

The level of serotonin in your body can be increased in numerous ways:

Medication

medication

Certain medications are intended for treating chemical imbalances in the brain. Medical treatment prompts the discharge of more neurotransmitters related to happiness and relaxation, like serotonin.

Note: Please remember that all medication requires a proper prescription.

Vitamins

vitamins vitamins

Advanced Vitamin B Complex and Serene 5-HTP from 365 Vitamins are excellent vitamins for the mind. Vitamin B6 is one of the vitamins needed by the brain for producing serotonin. 5-HTP is an amino acid that produces serotonin and helps to regulate our mood.

Food

food

Fruits such as banana, tomatoes, plums, kiwi fruit and pineapples naturally contain serotonin. Eggs, beans, turkey, flaxseed oil and other foods that are rich in protein have tryptophan (a component of 5-HTP).  Grains, breads and cereals are rich in B vitamins.

Note: A balanced meal is important to keep your mind and body healthy. Hence, it is necessary to consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any substantial changes to your diet.

Exercise and physical activities

exercise

Exercise and other fun physical activities can help to increase your serotonin level. Working your muscles during exercise prompts the discharge of serotonin in the brain. In addition, exercise can help to reduce stress, avoid anxiety attacks and ease fatigue. It can also help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Doing all these things on a regular basis will not only help you increase your serotonin level. It may also help you to feel great about yourself.  Visit our website to learn more.

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Vitamin B Complex: An Essential Vitamin for a Healthy Mind

vitamin b complex

The absence or the deficiency of the essential nutrients that your brain requires to function properly can affect your ability to think, concentrate, memorise and understand clearly.  Vitamins for mind enable us to stay alert, focused and functional throughout the day. One of the essential brain vitamins is Vitamin B Complex.

What is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B complex contains the 8 water-soluble B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. Each vitamin provides distinct benefits, from preventing memory loss to eliminating depression.

What Role does Vitamin B Complex Play in Brain Health? 

Vitamin B Complex plays a significant role in the production of neurotransmitters which are essential for the good condition of the mind. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that pass on information all over the brain and body. Serotonin, GABA and Dopamine are some of the neurotransmitters that help calm the brain and promote balance. If you have low levels of these neurotransmitters, there is a big possibility that you will suffer from insomnia, anxiety, stress, depression and other brain-related problems. Vitamin B complex can help stabilise the production of neurotransmitters and eventually improve mental health.

What are the Specific B Vitamins that Help Increase Brain Function?

Vitamin B6, folic acid and B12 are some of the B vitamins that particularly help increase the brain’s ability to function and reduce brain shrinkage.

  • Vitamin B6

The brain needs Vitamin B6 to produce serotonin, which helps to regulate the mood, prevent mental fatigue and improve the memory. Vitamin B6 also helps to maintain a healthy nervous system.

  • Folic Acid

Folic Acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9 that stimulates the production of neural stem cells. It is essential in the growth and restoration of the nervous system.  Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 to keep the brain healthy.

  • Vitamin B12

This B vitamin helps to fight brain degeneration in the elderly. Sustaining appropriate levels of B12 can help reduce the possibilities of suffering from neurological problems.

Where can you buy Vitamin B Complex?

Health First offers a wide range of vitamin supplements, including advanced vitamin B complex that is available in capsule form. Call us now on 0800 470 4835 for more information.

Must-Know about Memory Loss

memory loss

Do you keep on forgetting things lately? It might be a sign of memory loss.

WHAT IS MEMORY LOSS?

In simple terms, memory loss is the unusual forgetfulness of things. Memory loss can last for a short period of time depending on the cause but if left untreated, it can get worse over time.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF MEMORY LOSS?

Here are the common causes of memory loss:

  • Alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse

Excessive use of alcohol and drugs have long been recognised as a cause of memory loss. Smoking, on the other hand, harms the memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that goes through the brain.

  • Inadequate sleep

The quantity and the quality of sleep contributes to the condition of our memory. Inadequate sleep interferes with the ability of our mind to consolidate and retrieve information.

  • Medication

Prescription and over-the-counter medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety and sleeping pills can cause loss of memory if misused.

  • Depression and Stress

Depression may affect a person’s memory capacity. An individual who suffers from this can experience difficulty in paying attention and focusing. Also, stress leads to memory loss due to emotional trauma.

  • Head Injury

A severe blow to the head is one of the major reasons why memory loss occurs. It can injure the brain and can result in both short and long term memory loss. The memory may gradually improve over time.

  • Stroke

Strokes often cause short-term memory loss because the blood supply in the brain stops as a blood vessel in the brain is blocked.

HOW TO TREAT MEMORY LOSS?

Memory loss can be treated based on its cause.

  • Memory loss from medication can be treated by means of replacing the medicine.
  • If the memory loss is due to depression, try to unwind, practice yoga, visit a psychologist or exercise. These things can help the memory to recover faster.
  • If the memory loss is due to a stroke, therapy is recommended, helping people remember how to do simple things that are part of their routine such as walking or tying their shoes.
  • A person’s memory automatically improves over time. It is also recommended to take vitamins for mind to prevent or reduce the possibility of memory loss.

Always maintain not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind. 365 Vitamins has a long list of food supplements for your specific needs. Please check our website for more healthy options.

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