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Serotonin plays a big role in mental health, mood regulation and finding enjoyment in life. To ensure we have healthy serotonin levels we need several key micronutrients, two cofactors, B vitamins, and estrogen.  

Key essential micronutrients:

  • Iron
  • B6
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Healthy blood sugar levels
  • Healthy insulin levels

*Did you know that magnesium is the number two deficiency in Americans?  

Essential cofactors:

  • L-tryptophan
  • 5-HTP

Some people take 5-HTP as a supplement to help them sleep, because it is a necessary cofactor that helps make serotonin, along with iron, B6, and magnesium.

Once all essential micronutrients and cofactors are in our body, serotonin converts into melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that shuts off our brain at night so we get restful sleep. In order to make melatonin, our bodies need more B vitamins and healthy levels of them in the blood.

Related: Case Study: Tackling Chronic Anxiety (video by Dr. Medina).


How does estrogen factor into healthy serotonin levels? Well, estrogen increases serotonin production in the brain. This is likely why women experience mood shifts and mood swings during their menstrual cycles when Estrogen levels can potentially fluctuate tremendously.

Signs and symptoms you may lack serotonin:

  • Decrease of pleasure for hobbies, interests, and seeing friends
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed all the time, inner rage, or unprovoked anger
  • Paranoia or sadness for no apparent reason
  • Inability to fall into deep sleep or getting restful sleep at night
  • Low libido
  • Irritability

*Check out Dr. Medina’s Functional Medicine Approach to Mental Health video to learn more.

Set up your free consultation

Dr. Ernesto Medina, who focuses on Functional Neurology and Functional Medicine, may be able to help you reduce chronic anxiety and depression symptoms. Using the latest research in nutrition, immunology, and neurology, he will tailor a personalized plan that yields the fastest results for you. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.

The Role of Serotonin in Mental Health
Article Name
The Role of Serotonin in Mental Health
Learn what is needed to have healthy serotonin levels, signs and symptoms of unhealthy serotonin levels, and how serotonin helps our mental health overall.
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Bay Area Health & Wellness Center
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