Due to nutritional deficiencies caused by allergen removal and a few other reasons, my and my son's serotonin had deeply plummeted last year. Our anxiety was sky high and depression was significant. I learned about a group of nutrients that help build serotonin in your body, one of them being molybdenum which we were woefully low on. He and I worked on taking those supplements and we saw great improvement in our moods. It was hard to keep steady in taking them. Sometimes we would forget, sometimes we would run out and we would need to wait for a mail order. That was causing our serotonin to dip and spike, which also didn't feel good.
I learned about 5-htp. 5-htp is the precursor to serotonin. So your body takes it and changes it into serotonin. What we ended up doing for a while is taking it and stabilizing ourselves. Right before I got it I was spiraling down. It was getting bad. I remember the bad ride to whole foods, on my way to buy it. I took it and within an hour I felt a difference.
There were a few things I learned about it that felt important to me.
Some brands are not great. I use Jarrow and feel comfortable with it.
It is best to use it sublingually. If you ingest it, some of the conversion will happen in your gut rather than brain, and that is not optimal.
Too much serotonin can negatively impact your libido. I try not to overdue it with my myself for that reason.
We did not need to stay on it regularly for very long. I stabilized us and then just used the supplements to keep us going. If I notice a mood dip, or we are eating foods that are burning up those nutrients, thus taking away from serotonin creation, we will take some more.
I have found it to be really effective for us. I know it hasn't been useful for everyone though.
I am going to go back into my notes today and post the group of nutrients that are useful for serotonin raising. I get a few of the Bs mixed up (trying to keep straight all of the detox pathways and serotonin development can be taxing for me.) If 5-htp works for you, then you will know that they particular nutrients will be good for you.
Good luck and I hope life for you goes smoothly.
(Amy - a mama from the south shore