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Thread: Serotonin! The missing link between dietary carbohydrate and you! page

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    SkinnyMochaJoe's Avatar
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    Serotonin! The missing link between dietary carbohydrate and you!

    Ok so we all know that dietary carbohydrate has a profound effect on the body, however I've got a hunch that it's full effects are far further reaching (and worse) than we think. This all comes down to carbohydrates ability to stimulate serotonin release. Serotonin is, like insulin, another heavy hitter when it comes to roles in the body, effecting the brain as a neurotransmitter and the body as a hormone, a lot of which are still unknown. What I've learnt of serotonins role in the body is that it is a growth factor to some cells and help with digestion in the small intestine. Now it's roles in the brain are much better know and is used by us to gauge food availability, high serotonin levels suppress appetite whereas low levels stimulate hunger, especially for carbohydrate. Serotonin also has a big part to play in gauging social situations, it can make you more subservient and less aggressive or more dominant. It also plays a big part in mediating mood and is known by some as the 'happy hormone'. It does a whole bunch of other stuff that I don't really want to go into right now so let me get to the point.

    If a neurotransmitter(NT), such as serotonin, is chronically elevated in the brain for whatever reason, your brain being the uber-adaptable marvel that it is will compensate by reducing the amount of receptors to said NT and so make it less effective, this is one way people develop tolerance to drugs. Now in a mature brain this is usually reversible, just takes time. However, and this is the bad bit, there are points during brain development when you're a child and teenager that will 'set' the architecture of the brain permanently!

    The implications of this are that if you are exposed to excess dietary carbohydrates throughout childhood it's very possible that you will permanently desensitize yourself to serotonin, opening the door to depression, weight gain OCD and a whole host of other problems.

    Now this is just a theory at the moment so if anyone has a comment, notices a contradiction in my reasoning or has any information on this please share, any links to relative studies would also be appreciated. Cheers.

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    kuno1chi's Avatar
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    This is a very frightening possibilty, isn't it???
    At what ages do you think the set-points occur?

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    One is the third stage of pregnancy and I'm pretty sure the next ones some time during the first two years of life the others i'm not sure but there is one during puberty also although again when I'm not sure, suffice to say a lot of this falls to the parents/carers to see too.

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    Wow -- very interesting theory. I'll be interested in what others have to say.

    In the meantime, I don't suppose you have links to some good serotonin info handy, do you? I'd love to read more.
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    SkinnyMochaJoe's Avatar
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    The first two are just summaries as you have to pay for the full articles, there should be some other good ones related to this on both those sights, just have a wonder around. The last one's just information about all neurotransmitter actions in the body and check out wikipedia too it's a good starting point for research I find.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8697046
    http://www.bonekey-ibms.org/cgi/cont...t/ibmske;6/1/8
    http://www.benbest.com/science/anatm...html#glutamate

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    Thanks, SMJ!

    I used to have several clients who were former Meth users (tweaking from meth, and tweaking from sugar are pretty much the same!).

    They were without exception SEVERELY depressed after they quit using, because they couldn't make their own Serotonin anymore. Some of them improved after a couple of months, some never quite recovered. This is what's got me worried about the carb issue; just wondering if you can get to that point of no return even as an adult :-(
    Last edited by kuno1chi; 04-17-2010 at 02:08 PM.

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    SkinnyMochaJoe's Avatar
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    Ah, and here's quite a good one on mood and inflammation

    http://www.heattreat.ca/depression.php

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    I find that taking the serotonin precursor 5-HTP is helpful for my depression. My mother was also depressed but never diagnosed or treated, and her mother was depressed, and was actually hospitalized and given electro shock therapy for it a couple of times.

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    meth as in crystal meth!? ouch, nasty stuff, and yeah there is a point of no return in adults, every system has it's limits right? And maybe they did fully recover but it just didn't seem as good as they remember it because now they have the high to compare it against? And carbs don't have quite the kick that crystal meth does i doubt, never tried it though so who knows and as far as likness goes I've always thought of stimulant drugs closer to exercise really. Drug abuse looks very much like over-training right? And they tend to stimulate similar hormonal responses too. not identical, but quite similar.

  10. #10
    SkinnyMochaJoe's Avatar
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    Well if it's serious you'd probably want to get something like an SSRI. I know they're not at all primal but a few of them are actually pretty good, neuro protective properties and anti-inflammatory in some cases. They can cause osteoporosis too though so make sure you take steps to prevent this. 5-htp is good but as the problem is likely receptor down regulation it'll be far more effective to inhibit the re-uptake than make more serotonin as even if you have more the amount released at a time won't increase...unless you try that crystal meth...ow er.

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