Introduction of Neurotransmitters for general info

still a mystery that has baffled science

Brain

Brain although composed of one word is one of the most complex part of our body. It would be stupid to be say that you can live without the brain or you have brain but you are not using it. Brain is our driver’s seat where we sit and control almost all of our activities.There are some of the chemicals that brain communicates through called neurotransmitters. Almost all of our brain cells are made up of amino acid that is further split into two parts called Tryptophan and Tyrosine.

Below i have compiled some of the basis chemical structure of our brain system. Some needs to be fueled due to some lack in our physics and some our overloaded.

Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine structure.

This complex compound is it is made up of two chemical groups: choline and acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA).xxCholine is an essential nutrient present in soy, egg yolks, and meat, and is classified within the B-complex group of vitamins. The precursor to choline, AcCoA, is derived from glucose.

Acetylcholine is responsible for triggers muscle contractions, stimulating some hormones, and even controlling the heartbeat. It also plays an important role in brain function and memory. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter.

Low levels of acetylcholine are linked with issues with memory and thinking, such as those that affect people with Alzheimer’s disease. Some Alzheimer’s medications help slow the breakdown of acetylcholine in the body, and this can help control some symptoms, such as memory loss.

Having high levels of acetylcholine can cause too much muscle contraction. This can lead to seizures, spasms, and other health issues.

The nutrient choline, which is present in many foods, is a building block of acetylcholine. People must get enough choline from their diets to produce adequate levels of acetylcholine. However, it is not clear whether consuming more choline can help boost levels of this neurotransmitter.

Choline is available as a supplement, and taking high doses can lead to serious side effects, such as liver damage and seizures. Generally, only people with certain health conditions need choline supplements

Dopamine

Dopamine is important for memory, learning, behavior, and movement coordination. Many people know dopamine as a pleasure or reward neurotransmitter. The brain releases dopamine during pleasurable activities.

Dopamine is also responsible for muscle movement. A dopamine deficiency can cause Parkinson’s disease.

A healthful diet may help balance dopamine levels. The body needs certain amino acids to produce dopamine, and amino acids are found in protein-rich foods.

Meanwhile, eating high amounts of saturated fat can lead to lower dopamine activity, according to research from 2015. Also, certain studies suggest that a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to low dopamine activity.

While there are no dopamine supplements, exercise may help boost levels naturally. Some research has shown that regular exercise improves dopamine signalling in people who have early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

Endorphins

Endorphins inhibit pain signals and create an energized, euphoric feeling. They are also the body’s natural pain relievers.

One of the best-known ways to boost levels of feel-good endorphins is through aerobic exercise. A “runner’s high,” for example, is a release of endorphins. Also, research indicates that laughter releases endorphins.

Endorphins may help fight pain. The National Headache Foundation say that low levels of endorphins may play a role in some headache disorders.

A deficiency in endorphins may also play a role in fibromyalgiaThe Arthritis Foundation recommend exercise as a natural treatment for fibromyalgia, due to its ability to boost endorphins.

This is the far best of the chemicals that our brain produces, all i wish is to let my brain produce more and more of this endless chemical.

Epinephrine

Ever heard of fight or flight, that’s how we human race have come to this far without being extinct. This chemical is reponsible for it and thankfully to it’s action we hid behind the bushes when tiger approached and we hunted deer in the open field.

Also known as adrenaline, epinephrine is involved in the body’s “fight or flight” response. It is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter.

When a person is stressed or scared, their body may release epinephrine. Epinephrine increases heart rate and breathing and gives the muscles a jolt of energy. It also helps the brain make quick decisions in the face of danger.

While epinephrine is useful if a person is threatened, chronic stress can cause the body to release too much of this hormone. Over time, chronic stress can lead to health problems, such as decreased immunity, high blood pressurediabetes, and heart disease.

People who are dealing with ongoing high levels of stress may wish to try techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and exercise.

Anyone who thinks that their levels of stress could be dangerously high or that they may have anxiety or depression should speak with a healthcare provider.

Serotonin

Serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a naturally occurring substance that functions as a neurotransmitter to carry signals between nerve cells (called neurons) throughout your body.1 Most commonly, people are aware of serotonin’s role in the central nervous system (CNS).

In the brain, serotonin helps with mood regulation and memory, but the neurotransmitter also has important jobs in other parts of the body.2 In fact, most of the serotonin in your body is found in your gut, not your brain. Not only do the intestines produce almost all of the body’s serotonin supply, but serotonin is required there to promote healthy digestion.3

Elsewhere in the body, serotonin also helps with sleep, sexual function, bone health, and blood clotting.1 Here’s a closer look at serotonin’s many functions, what happens if you have too little (or too much), and a few ways to balance your levels for optimum health.

Food

Many foods naturally contain serotonin, but your body also needs other nutrients, such as tryptophan, vitamin B6, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, to produce the neurotransmitter.23

Foods that are good sources of these key nutrients include:

  • Bananas
  • Beans (such as chickpeas, kidney, pinto, black beans)
  • Eggs
  • Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale)
  • Nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, flaxseed)
  • Oily, fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel) 
  • Probiotic/fermented foods (such as kefir, yogurt, tofu)
  • Turkey

Eating a high-fiber diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables will help keep your gut bacteria healthy. Having a good balance of “friendly” bacteria in your intestines been linked to adequate serotonin levels (as the intestines make about 95% of your body’s supply of the neurotransmitter).247 Foods That Improve Mood and Fight Depression

Exercise

Regular physical activity (especially aerobic exercise) has been proven to boost serotonin levels.25 However, the benefits of regular exercise go beyond your brain.

A workout can help people manage depression and other mood disorders by also promoting cardiovascular health, improving strength and endurance, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.

The Department of Health and Human Services President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise each week plus two days of strength training.26

Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Be sure to pick activities that you enjoy as you’ll be more apt to stick with it, and consistency is key to getting all the benefits.Best Forms of Exercise to Improve Mood

Light Exposure

Your levels of serotonin might get low if you don’t get out in the sun regularly. Not getting enough exposure to sunlight is one theory behind why people experience depression during the short, dark days of fall and winter (a mood disorder called seasonal affective disorder).27

Try to spend 10 to 15 minutes outside in the sun each day. Sunlight also boosts your vitamin D levels, which is needed for serotonin production.

If you live in a place with little to no sunlight, you can also use light therapy to make sure you’re getting your daily “dose” of sunlight.

Massage

Massage therapy has been found to promote the release of serotonin and decrease the stress hormone cortisol, making it an appealing non-pharmaceutical addition to depression and anxiety treatment plans. You don’t even need a professional massage to reap the benefits.

A frequently cited study of pregnant women with depression published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2004 concluded that massage could be beneficial even when given by someone who isn’t a trained massage therapist.28

After participants in the study had two 20-minute massage sessions given by their partners, their serotonin levels increased by 28% and their dopamine levels by 31%.

Supplements

While you can improve your overall nutrition through your diet, certain supplements can also be helpful.29 Popular dietary supplements you might want to consider include:

  • 5-HTP
  • Probiotics
  • Pure tryptophan
  • SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine)

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system, and is involved in regulating communication between brain cells.

The role of GABA is to inhibit or reduce the activity of the neurons or nerve cells.

GABA plays an important role in behavior, cognition, and the body’s response to stress.

Research suggests that GABA helps to control fear and anxiety when neurons become overexcited.

Lower-than-normal levels of GABA in the brain have been linked to schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

GABA Receptors

GABA receptors on nerve cells receive the chemical messages that help to inhibit or reduce nerve impulses.

Prescription medications called benzodiazepines bind to the same receptors as GABA. They mimic GABA’s natural calming effects.

Diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan), are among the most widely prescribed benzodiazepinesfor insomnia and anxiety disorders. They slow down the body’s central nervous system and cause sleepiness.

Benzodiazepines should be used only as prescribed. Taking too much can lead to shallow breathing, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak pulse, coma, and death.

Medications used to treat insomnia, including zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta), work by improving the ability of GABA to bind to GABA receptors in the brain.

GABA Supplements

GABA supplements, taken alone or in combination with other ingredients, are marketed widely for use in treating depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

While a few small studies have suggested that GABA supplements may help to lower anxiety levels, there is little scientific evidence to support these overall claims.

GABA supplements may increase levels of the chemical circulating in the blood, but there is little evidence to suggest that circulating GABA can pass through the blood-brain barrier and increase GABA levels in the brain.

Summary

Neurotransmitters play a role in nearly every function in the human body.

A balance of neurotransmitters is necessary to prevent certain health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

There is no proven way to ensure that neurotransmitters are balanced and working correctly. However, having a healthful lifestyle that includes regular exercise and stress management can help, in some cases. This clearly states that one size does not fit all.

Before trying a supplement, ask a healthcare provider. Supplements can interact with medications and may be otherwise unsafe, especially for people with certain health conditions.

Health conditions that result from an imbalance of neurotransmitters often require treatment from a professional. 

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