Following on from the previous article about nuerotransmitters I’m now going to break them down & explain their function so that you can benefit from the work they do…
An inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain.
Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood & to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter firing in the brain.
If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time.
So it is best to balance your caffeine intake. I generally suggest 1-2 (absolute max of 4) esspresso’s per day. Must be consumed before 4pm. No caffeine after 4pm.
Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control & appropriate digestion.
Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.
Carbohydrate intake will also affect this neurotransmitter. It is important that your diet varies from time to time as remaining on permanent low (or no) carb diet is also not healthy.
But remember – all carbs are not made equal!
An inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s valium-like substance”.
When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain.
GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing. Long-term over firing will deplete stores & fatigue production.
This transmitter is also related to deep sleep. So be aware of over stimulation from computers, phones, artificial light, processed food & beverages on a day-to-day basis.
Manage these areas of your life well & by the time you get to bed you’ll hit the sack & be asleep before you can say “Good night!”
A special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory & inhibitory.
Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.
Your main neurotransmitter for focus.
When dopamine is either elevated or low – you can have focus issues such as not remembering where you put your keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when you just finished reading it (like right now?… hopefully not!) or simply daydreaming & not being able to stay on task.
Dopamine is also responsible for your drive or desire to get things done – or in other words your level of motivation.
Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD & caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved.
Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.
Again it’s all about the balance. Balance your day to balance your night & vice versa – a good nights sleep leads to a productive day.
An excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body.
Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well. This neurotransmitter can cause anxiety at elevated excretion levels as well as some “mood dampening” effects.
Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with low energy, decreased focus ability & sleep cycle problems.
An excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress.
This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present.
Long term stress or insomnia can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low).
Epinephrine also regulates heart rate & blood pressure.
Long-term stress from whatever source will lead to a disruption in the neurotransmitter functions.
This is one reason why blood pressure & heart disease begin to rise if you do not take control of your day-to-day actions (think food choices) & leave them to be decided by the food industry (think processed food & energy drinks).
It’s just a matter of time before a major malfunction occurs.
Two More To Be Aware Of…
Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter to be discovered.
It was isolated in 1921 by a German biologist named Otto Loewi, who would later win the Nobel Prize for his work.
Acetylcholine has many functions: It is responsible for much of the stimulation of muscles, including the muscles of the gastro-intestinal system.
It is also found in sensory neurons & in the autonomic nervous system & has a part in scheduling REM (dream) sleep.
The plant poisons curare & hemlock cause paralysis by blocking the acetylcholine receptor sites of muscle cells.
The well-known poison botulin works by preventing the vesicles in the axon ending from releasing acetylcholine, causing paralysis.
The botulin derivative botox is used by many people to temporarily eliminate wrinkles – I’m sure you know a few people who indulge in regular botox absorption?
On a more serious note, there is a link between acetylcholine & Alzheimer’s disease.
There is approximately 90% loss of acetylcholine in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s, which is a major cause of senility.
In 1973, Solomon Snyder & Candace Pert of Johns Hopkins discovered endorphin.
Endorphin is short for “endogenous morphine.”
It is structurally very similar to the opioids (opium, morphine, heroin, etc.) & has similar functions:
Inhibitory, it is involved in pain reduction & pleasure, & the opioid drugs work by attaching to endorphin’s receptor sites.
It is also the neurotransmitter that allows bears & other animals to hibernate.
Consider: Heroin slows heart-rate, respiration, and metabolism in general – exactly what you would need to hibernate.
It is also the rush of good feelings that you experience after exercise. That good feeling can impress on a person & potential help you feel better about your life.
So endorphin production & exercise can go hand in hand, so to speak. So to stimulate more natural morphine like symptoms all you have to do exercise – A Natural High – what a great insight for the day I’m sure you’d agree.
A healthy lifestyle, think regular exercise, highly nutritional meals & topping up with a little supplementation will help balance your system & provide your internal machinery with everything it needs to run at optimum.
What does this mean to you?
It means you get to ‘Feel Like A Billion Dollars – Every Day Of The Week’
I talk you through every step in detail in my book HealthWealth (available from Amazon). So if you’d like a few more tips, tricks & advice I’ll be waiting for you within that book. I’d love to help you reach an even higher high.
Until we speak again
To Your Best Health