What is Neurotransmitter Health?

What is Neurotransmitter Health?

Just as much as it’s important to pay attention to our physical health (what we eat, how much we exercise, etc.), it’s also important to pay attention to our brain health. In fact, in order for our bodies to function at their highest levels, our brains need to be in peak condition, too. 

 

And one of the most important parts of brain health is neurotransmitter health. 

 

If this term is new to you and sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, don’t worry. Read on to learn more about what it means to you, your brain health, and thus, your overall health. 

What Are Neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry information between nerve cells and target cells in the body. Each neurotransmitter has its own purpose and talks to a specific receptor that, in turn, activates the cells to do a specific job. The neurotransmitters are recycled over and over so your body can continue to carry the necessary messages from one place to another. 

 

Neurotransmitters play a major role in a wide range of bodily functions, including:

 

  • Breathing
  • Heartbeat
  • Learning
  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Concentration
  • And more

Types of Neurotransmitters

There are six different types of neurotransmitters:

 

  • Amino acids (GABA, glutamate)
  • Peptides (Oxytocin, endorphins)
  • Monoamines (Serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, histamine)
  • Purines (ATP, adenosine)
  • Gasotransmitters (Carbon monoxide, nitric oxide)
  • Acetylcholine (Acetylcholine)
  •  

    Each of these neurotransmitters plays a key role in mental health conditions. Too little serotonin can lead to depression and anxiety. And too much serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome. Too little GABA can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and more. This is why neurotransmitter health is so important. 

    What is Neurotransmitter Health?

    Optimal neurotransmitter health is achieved when your neurotransmitters are doing their job and allowing neural signals to jump the gap (synapse) between each other to communicate. 

     

    In an ideal world, this process would continue to happen without fail. However, in reality, with a complex system like this, there is room for error. 

    Neurotransmitter Malfunction

    Just like any system in the body or otherwise, things can go wrong. And when it comes to neurotransmitters, they are not immune to malfunction. Some of the issues that can arise with neurotransmitters include:

     

    • A neuron’s inability to make enough of a neurotransmitter
    • The release of too much of a neurotransmitter
    • Neurotransmitter deactivation

    What Can Affect Neurotransmitter Health?

    A few different things can result in changes in neurotransmitter health including nerve problems, disease, and medications. People who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s often struggle with neurotransmitter health. 

    Medication

    There are some medications that people turn to in the hopes that they will positively affect their neurotransmitter health. 

     

    They are considered either agonists or antagonists

     

    Agonists include SSRIs and are called such because they increase the effect of neurotransmitters. This includes drugs like fluoxetine, an antidepressant that increases serotonin in the brain. 

     

    Antagonists, on the other hand, decrease the effect of neurotransmitters. This category includes drugs like naloxone, which is used to quickly and efficiently reverse an opioid overdose. 

    Supplements

    Supplements are a great option for bringing balance to your neurotransmitter health, particularly those that include GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). 

     

    GABA is a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter that is responsible for keeping us calm. If you don’t have enough GABA in your system, then you are likely to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. 

    How to Boost Neurotransmitter Health

    In order to promote neurotransmitter health and get your brain to a healthier place, there are some practices that you can start incorporating today. 

    Nutrition

    It’s important that you eat not only for your body but also for your brain. Nutrition plays a big role in neurotransmitter health, so if yours is suffering, try adding more tryptophan into your diet. This is the building block of serotonin and can be found in foods like meat, eggs, fish, and dairy. However, in order for tryptophan to do its job, you must also consume carbohydrates. This allows tryptophan to enter your brain and do its serotonin-boosting job. 

    Supplements

    As we mentioned above, supplements with ingredients such as GABA are a great tool to use when looking to boost neurotransmitter health. 

    Meditate

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to increase dopamine levels, so if you’re wanting to keep your neurotransmitter health in tip-top shape, add a daily meditation practice to your life. You may not feel the results immediately, but keep at it and over time, you’ll be able to tell the difference. 

    Sleep

    Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to neurotransmitter malfunction, so it’s important that you aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night in order to keep your brain health at its best. 

    Summary

    Neurotransmitter health refers to how well your brain can perform the job of helping neural signals jump the gap between each other to communicate. The better your neurotransmitter health, the better these neurons are able to talk to each other. Interruptions in that communication can lead to issues with mental health including anxiety, depression, and more. However, there are things you can do to boost your neurotransmitter health, including eating a healthy diet with protein, adding supplements to your regimen, meditating daily, and getting enough sleep. 

     

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    What is Neurotransmitter Health?

    Just as much as it’s important to pay attention to our physical health (what we eat, how much we exercise, etc.), it’s also important to pay attention to our brain health. In fact, in order for our bodies to function at their highest levels, our brains need to be in peak condition. 

     

    And one of the most important parts of brain health is neurotransmitter health. 

     

    If this term is new to you and sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, don’t worry. Read on to learn more about what it means to you, your brain health, and thus, your overall health. 

     

    What Are Neurotransmitters?

    Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry information between nerve cells and target cells in the body. Each neurotransmitter has its own purpose and talks to a specific receptor that, in turn, activates the cells to do a specific job. The neurotransmitters are recycled over and over so your body can continue to carry the necessary messages from one place to another. 

     

    Neurotransmitters play a major role in a wide range of bodily functions, including:

     

    • Breathing
    • Heartbeat
    • Learning
    • Mood
    • Sleep
    • Appetite
    • Concentration
    • And more

    Types of Neurotransmitters

    There are six different types of neurotransmitters:

     

    1. Amino acids (GABA, glutamate)
    2. Peptides (Oxytocin, endorphins)
    3. Monoamines (Serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, histamine)
    4. Purines (ATP, adenosine)
    5. Gasotransmitters (Carbon monoxide, nitric oxide)
    6. Acetylcholine (Acetylcholine)

     

    Each of these neurotransmitters plays a key role in mental health conditions. Too little serotonin can lead to depression and anxiety. And too much serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome. Too little GABA can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and more. This is why neurotransmitter health is so important. 

     

    What is Neurotransmitter Health?

    Optimal neurotransmitter health is achieved when your neurotransmitters are doing their job and allowing neural signals to jump the gap (synapse) between each other to communicate. 

     

    In an ideal world, this process would continue to happen without fail. However, in reality, with a complex system like this, there is room for error. 

     

    Neurotransmitter Malfunction

    Just like any system in the body or otherwise, things can go wrong. And when it comes to neurotransmitters, they are not immune to malfunction. Some of the issues that can arise with neurotransmitters include:

     

    • A neuron’s inability to make enough of a neurotransmitter
    • The release of too much of a neurotransmitter
    • Neurotransmitter deactivation

    What Can Affect Neurotransmitter Health?

    A few different things can result in changes in neurotransmitter health including nerve problems, disease, and medications. People who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s often struggle with neurotransmitter health. 

     

    Medication

    There are some medications that people turn to in the hopes that they will positively affect their neurotransmitter health. 

     

    They are considered either agonists or antagonists

     

    Agonists include SSRIs and are called such because they increase the effect of neurotransmitters. This includes drugs like fluoxetine, an antidepressant that increases serotonin in the brain. 

     

    Antagonists, on the other hand, decrease the effect of neurotransmitters. This category includes drugs like naloxone, which is used to quickly and efficiently reverse an opioid overdose. 

     

    Supplements

    Supplements are a great option for bringing balance to your neurotransmitter health, particularly those that include GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). 

     

    GABA is a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter that is responsible for keeping us calm. If you don’t have adequate levels of GABA in your system, then you are likely to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. 

     

    How to Boost Neurotransmitter Health

    In order to promote neurotransmitter health and get your brain to a healthier place, there are some practices that you can start adding to your daily routine today. 

     

    Nutrition

    It’s important that you eat not only for your body but also for your brain. Nutrition plays a big role in neurotransmitter health, so if yours is suffering, try adding more tryptophan into your diet. This is the building block of serotonin and can be found in foods like meat, eggs, fish, and dairy. However, in order for tryptophan to do its job, you must also consume carbohydrates. This allows tryptophan to enter your brain and do its increase serotonin levels. 

     

    Supplements

    As we mentioned above, supplements with ingredients such as GABA are a great tool to use when looking to boost neurotransmitter health. 

     

    Meditate

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to increase dopamine levels, so if you’re wanting to keep your neurotransmitter health in tip-top shape, add a daily meditation practice to your life. You may not feel the results immediately, but keep at it and over time, you’ll be able to tell the difference. 

     

    Sleep

    Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to neurotransmitter malfunction, so it’s important that you aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night in order to keep your brain health at its best. 

     

    Summary

    Neurotransmitter health refers to how well your brain can perform the job of helping neural signals jump the gap between each other to communicate. The better your neurotransmitter health, the better these neurons are able to talk to each other. Interruptions in that communication can lead to issues with mental health including anxiety, depression, and more. However, there are things you can do to boost your neurotransmitter health, including eating a healthy diet with protein, adding supplements to your regimen, meditating daily, and instilling healthy sleep habits.