Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Leisha
Posted on: February 2, 1999

Aren’t Melatonin and Serotonin both hormones? Why can’t we buy Serotonin in the stores as we can Melatonin? I have heard about Serotril, but it is so much more higher than it should be. Is there anything else that is "healthy" to use to increase serotonin levels? I have already given up aspartame in hopes that I have not done any permanant damage.

Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter with actions that include inhibition of gastric secretion, stimulation of smooth muscles (those in the blood vessels, airways to the lungs, stomach, intestines, gall bladder and urinary bladder) and constriction of blood vessels. Possibly the action of narrowing blood vessels, which may result in insufficient blood to internal organs, inhibition of gastric juices, which may result in digestive problems and stimulation of smooth muscles, which may result in muscle spasm, could be reasons why serotonin is not available in the stores. Melatonin is banned in Canada because of possible health risks.

James Duke in "The Green Pharmacy" (available at Richters) states that the seeds of Evening Primrose are high in tryptophan, a raw material in the production of serotonin. Evening Primrose oil also contains tryptophan, and he suggests taking half a teaspoon of the oil three times a day to increase the serotonin level, which helps to elevate mood and enhance feelings of well-being and satiety.

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