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Low Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Heat Disease – Raise Your Serotonin Levels Possibly with SAM-e and 5-HTP and Other Digestive Enzymes

March 7th 2006

Low Serotonin Levels May Play Role in Heat Disease – Raise Your Serotonin Levels Possibly with SAM-e and 5-HTP and Other Digestive Enzymes


Researcher may have found a link between serotonin levels and heart disease.  According to a study presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers at the 64th Annual Scientific Conference of the American Psychosomatic Society in Denver, a less active brain serotonin system is associated with early hardening of the arteries. 

This breakthrough could be helpful in developing a treatment for preventing heart disease and stroke.  Matthew F. Muldoon, M.D., said "Many of the known risk factors for heart disease and stroke – high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, smoking and lack of exercise – can, to some extent, be controlled by our lifestyle choices."  He said that there were no previous studies that examined brain abnormalities and atherosclerosis. 


The researchers believe that the lack of serotonin could lead people to make bad lifestyle choices, that ultimately will lead to atherosclerosis.  Muldoon says this “could explain why some people make these poor lifestyle choices and have multiple risk factors for heart disease."

The study included 244 adult volunteers between the ages of 30 and 55 years.  The researchers measured the serotonergic activity using a pharmacological approach and carotid artery thickness using ultrasonography.  They found that at the time of testing, the participants were free of clinically evident vascular disease.  The participants with low levels of serotonergic function were more likely to have thickening of the carotid artery than those with higher levels.


Serotonin is a mood, appetite and blood pressure regulator.  Previous research by Dr. Muldoon and his colleagues found that people who get little exercise are overweight, have high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  These people also had low levels of serotonergic function. 

There are some things you can do to increase serotonin levels.  According to the book, Your Miracle Brain by Jean Carper, when depressed people take SAM-e, there’s evidence of increased serotonin and dopamine in their nervous systems.  Another supplement that may promote production serotonin is 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan).  This is derived from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.  According to the Vitacost website, serotonin is important for emotional well being, decreased carbohydrate and fat intake.  It may play a role in appetite suppression as well.


Some have claimed that depression, insomnia, anxiety, suicide, migraines, PMS, obsessive/compulsive behavior, stress, obesity, and addiction can be related to low levels of serotonin. 

Supplements may aid in the digestion of food allowing for the creation of serotonin.   In the book Enzymes for Autism and other Neurological Conditions, by Karen DeFelice, but as we age, or in some disease states, this enzyme secretion may not be adequate to completely digest the food we eat.  This can result in pain, cramping, excessive gas, certain food intolerances and inflammation. 

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Heart Disease

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