The Happy - Hormone Diet

Daily Mail (London), April 29, 2008 | Go to article overview

The Happy - Hormone Diet


Forget Prozac. Now you can help banish the blues with a unique newhealthy eating plan...

SCIENTISTS have known for years that serotoninthe so-called happy hormoneboosts our moods and general feeling of well-being. They know, too, that a lackof serotonin can lead to depression which affects 400,000 people in Irelandand, according to the World Health Organisation, 121 million people worldwide.

Not surprisingly, well-known antidepressants such as Prozac (one of the groupknown as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) are designed toalter the balance of some of the brains chemicals to increase its ability toretain serotonin.

Doctors believe a deficiency of this hormone can cause a range of problemsincluding migraine, eating disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and stress. Ithas even been linked to obesity and insomnia.

Now, Dr Caroline Longmore, a French paediatrician and natural health expert,has devised a plan everyone can follow to lift their daily levels of serotoninwithout resorting to pharmaceutical drugsand get happier and healthier straight away.

In this exclusive extract from The Serotonin Secret, Dr Longmores new e-bookavailable only as an online download, we explain just what serotonin is, whyyou may be deficient in it and how to boost levels through diet, exercise andsupplements.

WHAT IS SEROTONIN?

SEROTONIN is a chemical produced by the brain, believed to play an importantrole in regulating mood, anger, and aggression, as well as body temperature,sleep and appetite.

If its concentration in the brain is normal, we feel relaxed, happy and incontrol. If it drops below optimum levels, we may feel irritated, anxious anddepressed.

Our body instantly attempts to counteract the low serotonin concentration inthe brain, leading to carbohydrate cravings, which result in a subsequent risein serotonin levels.

WHAT CAUSES DEFICIENCY?

SEROTONIN is derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan, which the bodycannot make itself.

So for many of us, unless we take enough tryptophan through our diets, we maysuffer a deficiency.

However, insufficient serotonin synthesis may also be caused by geneticfactors, an overworked immune system, or when the brain has been damaged bytoxins such as alcohol. It can also be provoked by long-term stress.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

THE most obvious symptom is a change or lowering of mood, but symptoms alsoinclude sleeplessness, problems with concentration and memory, and binge-eatingor carbohydrate craving. Longer-term deficiency may result in obesity, chronicexhaustion and fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks, migraine and depression.

WHAT DRUGS ARE AVAILABLE?

IF you suffer from severe depression, you may be offered a selective serotoninreuptake inhibitor such as Prozac. Those with eating disorders can also behelped by SSRIs. But recent studies have shown mild to moderate depression isbetter treated with cognitive behavioural therapy or holistically, than throughdrugs.

HOW CAN I GET A NATURAL BOOST?

THE best way is through diet: eat foods rich in the natural amino acidtryptophan and avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates which artificially raiseblood-sugar levels, leaving you feeling temporarily better, before even wildermood swings.

Other vitamins are also required for tryptophan to be successfully converted toserotonin including Vitamins B (3 and 6) and C, as well as magnesium and zinc.

There are several other ways to boost your levels including taking herbs suchas oatstraw, angelica root, burdock, ginseng, dandelion, rhodolia, black cohoshand wild yam.

Another alternative is 5-HTP or hydroxy L-tryptophan, which is metabolised intoserotonin in the body and can be bought in tablets from most health stores,although there is no real scientific data to back up its effectiveness. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Happy - Hormone Diet
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.