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The MAIN Cause of Low Serotonin and Why You’re Depressed and Anxious

What causes depression and anxiety?

In this article, we will discuss the real reason why your serotonin is low, and you may be depressed or have anxiety.Depression is a mood disorder. It is typically described as feelings of loss, sadness, or anger that affect one’s daily activities.

Depression is also fairly common. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 18.5 percent of American adults experienced depression in any given two-week period in 2019.

Despite some similarities between depression and anxiety, both are pretty different. The main symptom of depression is typically a lingering sad, low or hopeless mood, while anxiety primarily involves overwhelming feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear.

The thing about both conditions is that they do share several key symptoms. Anxiety, for instance, involves irritability — and some depressed people may feel more irritable than sad.

Because these conditions show up differently from person to person, you may not always know the exact meaning of your symptoms.

Moreover, it is possible to be both anxious and depressed simultaneously. According to a 2015 worldwide survey, over 41.6 percent of people experienced both major depression and anxiety disorder within the same 12-month period.

Photo Photo by Leah Kelley

Serotonin explained

Serotonin is a chemical produced by nerve cells. It transmits signals between your nerve cells. Serotonin is primarily found in the digestive system, as well as in blood platelets and the central nervous system.

Serotonin is produced from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. This amino acid must first enter your body through your diet. It is commonly found in red meat, cheese, and nuts. Tryptophan deficiency may lead to a reduction in serotonin levels. This can cause anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

What is serotonin deficiency?

Serotonin deficiency is a complex condition. It has been linked to many psychological and physical symptoms.

For instance, researchers have established a link between serotonin and depression. Studies have also found a link between serotonin and sleep. Researchers agree that serotonin has a far-reaching and complex function on the human body.

Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash

According to studies, over 95 percent of the serotonin in the human body is produced in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The other 5 percent is made in the brain. In the brain, it acts as a neurotransmitter that transmits signals between your brain neurons.

Some studies about serotonin examine its role in the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is a communication link between the central nervous system and the intestinal or enteric nervous system. This communication line links the gut and the brain, which is the reason for the gut-brain axis.

Studies have shown that some of the serotonin that is produced in the gastrointestinal tract moves through the body in tiny blood cells or circulating platelets, helping with the regulation of body processes like:

  • · Bone development
  • · Immune response
  • · Cardiac function
  • · Digestion

Typical treatment for low serotonin levels

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first-line treatment for depression, anxiety, and other serotonin deficiency symptoms.

SSRIs help the body to make more efficient use of serotonin. However, they do not stimulate the production of more serotonin.

Your body uses only a fraction of the serotonin that is released by your brain. This is because some of the serotonin returns to the cell from which it was produced. SSRIs inhibit this serotonin’s reabsorption (reuptake), leaving it more available for the body’s use.

Examples of SSRIs include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Fluoxetine (Sarafem, Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
Side effects of SSRIs

All SSRIs are believed to have a similar mechanism of action (that is, they are thought to work similarly). Therefore, these medications can cause similar side effects, although everyone may not experience these side effects. Most side effects may resolve after the first few weeks of treatment, while others may push you into taking a different drug.

If you are intolerant to one SSRI, you may be able to tolerate a different one. This is because the potencies of SSRIs differ. Some may be able to block serotonin reuptake very quickly, while others may take some time. The rate at which the body metabolizes the drug also differs.

Common side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors include:

  • Dizziness
  • Agitation, nervousness, or restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Sexual problems, like reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Negative impact on appetite resulting in weight gain or weight loss
Causes of a serotonin deficiency

Why are people so deficient in serotonin? That’s what we will discuss in this section.

Your body does not make over 95% of the serotonin in your body. The good bacteria produce it in your gut. That means we depend heavily on the good bacteria in our gut for serotonin. Only a tiny amount of the entire serotonin in our body is made by the brain — that’s over 0.000001.

Since most of the serotonin in our bodies is made by bacteria, we can say that if anything goes wrong with your gut flora, serotonin can suffer greatly.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Now, there’s something called Glyphosate.

Glyphosate is a common herbicide that is all over the world presently. Almost every chemical company makes it because the patent ran out.

In 1960, scientists discovered that Glyphosate could be used as a descaling agent. A descaling agent is a chemical that can bind with a metal or a mineral like manganese or zinc. In 1969, it was discovered that this chemical could kill plants, and in 1996 they came up with a called Round Up ®, an herbicide that kills weeds. The problem with Round Up ® is that it has so many PR campaigns to make it appear safe. As a result, it has plenty of mixed reviews that may confuse you.

Proponents say it doesn’t affect humans like plants because it blocks the shikimate pathway. This pathway involves a lot of enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that always have a metal or mineral as their base. Shikimate pathway has manganese. So, Glyphosate works by binding with manganese making this enzyme not work anymore in bacteria or plants.

The exciting thing about the shikimate pathway is that it makes three amino acids — tyrosine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. As we said in the earlier part of this article, serotonin comes from tryptophan.

Our bodies may not have the shikimate pathway. Still, we should remember that our microbiome is a huge part of our health, immune system, and ability to make neurotransmitters. Therefore, you need to consider the microbiome as an organ on its own.

How to boost serotonin

  • Do keto and intermittent fasting
  • Take apple cider vinegar regularly (one tablespoon in a glass of water)
  • Exercise
  • Get plenty of sun exposure
  • Consume more vegetables
  • Consume probiotic foods
  • Avoid heavily-sprayed foods
  • Consume organic, non-GMO foods and grass-fed, grass-finished meats


Depression and anxiety may seem similar, but they’re pretty different.

The main symptom of depression is typically a lingering sad, low or hopeless mood, while anxiety primarily involves overwhelming feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear.

Serotonin deficiency contributes to anxiety and depression. Glyphosate is the main cause of serotonin deficiency.

Glyphosate binds with manganese to deactivate the shikimate pathway in our gut flora, affecting the production of tryptophan and, by extension, serotonin.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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