Within a few months, this inevitably causes a cascade of negative side effects (10). Datis Kharrazian, author of , lists these co-factors as needed for the synthesis of either tryptophan or 5-HTP to serotonin — vitamins B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, and magnesium.Look either for serotonin boosting supplements that contain these along with the main active ingredients or add them separately with a high-quality multivitamin mineral supplement.It’s particularly helpful for Parkinson’s and schizophrenia patients who also have depression (14).
But SSRIs can have serious side effects and don’t work for everyone, possibly up to 40 percent of those who try them (1).
Some research shows they work no better than a placebo (2).
Several other brain-related disorders besides depression are related to low serotonin, including autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia (3).
Many people with depression or other serotonin deficiency symptoms and conditions are searching for better ways to increase serotonin levels naturally without the use of drugs.
If this is your situation, here are some serotonin supplements proven to help increase serotonin levels naturally.
There are many kinds of nutritional supplements that increase serotonin levels — amino acids, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and more.We prefer tryptophan supplements not just because studies have not conclusively found that 5-HTP helps depression, but because 5-HTP is intended for long-term use.While it’s increasing serotonin, it’s depleting other neurotransmitters like dopamine.Do so only if you are working with a knowledgeable health care professional. Tryptophan: Tryptophan might seem like a logical serotonin supplement to try first since tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin.Together, they can cause too large an increase in serotonin, which can result in a potentially serious condition known as serotonin syndrome. Tryptophan is an amino acid commonly found in protein-rich foods like animal products.SAM-e (s-adenosyl methionine): SAM-e naturally occurs in every cell of the body and brain and fuels over 100 metabolic reactions. In Europe, SAM-e is used as a prescription medication for depression, liver disease, and osteoarthritis (11).