Along with eating a balanced diet, many possible supplements may help boost dopamine levels, including probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, ginkgo and ginseng. This, in turn, could help improve brain function and mental health.
Getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, meditating, and spending time in the sun can all boost dopamine levels. Overall, a balanced diet and lifestyle can go a long way in increasing your body's natural production of dopamine and helping your brain function at its best.
Some supplements have been found to increase serotonin in clinical studies. Among these, 5-HTP, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, St. John's wort, and certain probiotics have some of the strongest evidence. Many other supplements may also increase serotonin, but the evidence supporting their use is significantly weaker.
Increasing serotonin levels can be done naturally. The best ways to do this are eating well, getting out in the sun or supplementing with vitamin D, exercising, taking adaptogens, and managing stress. Serotonin can also be increased synthetically with antidepressants.
Folic acid and vitamin B12 are involved in the synthesis of serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
The good news is that a number of serotonin supplements have been shown to increase serotonin and effectively treat symptoms of serotonin deficiency. SAM-e, 5-HTP, and L-tryptophan St. John's Wort have each been shown in multiple human studies to affect serotonin imbalances and to treat depression.
Dopamine is most notably involved in helping us feel pleasure as part of the brain's reward system. Sex, shopping, smelling cookies baking in the oven — all these things can trigger dopamine release, or a "dopamine rush."
Medications. Ropinirole, pramipexole, and levodopa can boost dopamine levels. Levodopa is the precursor to dopamine, which means it is something the body needs to produce dopamine.
This is a prescription medication available in tablet form in brand and generic versions. The short and long acting forms are used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), a chronic degenerative condition in which dopamine cells slowly die causing movement and mood related disorders.
What are the signs of a lack of serotonin and dopamine? Deficits in serotonin and dopamine can cause a host of signs and symptoms, including depressed mood, fatigue, lack of motivation, decreased sex drive, and difficulty concentrating.
Certain drugs and substances such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, NutraSweet, antidepressants, and some cholesterol-lowering medications deplete serotonin and other neurotransmitter levels. Hormone changes cause low levels of serotonin and neurotransmitter imbalances.
Antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often the first-line treatment of symptoms of serotonin deficiency such as depression and anxiety. SSRIs help your body use serotonin more efficiently.
It's also possible to increase serotonin levels without taking medicine. One natural way to increase serotonin is by working out. When you pedal your bicycle or lift weights, your body releases more tryptophan, the amino acid your brain uses to make serotonin.
Research suggests that supplementing with magnesium may help to increase serotonin levels. In fact, low serotonin levels have been observed in patients with a magnesium deficiency. The study that discussed raising serotonin with magnesium reported success.
B12 acts as a cofactor in synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, thus B12 deficiency affects mood, emotions and sleeping and can lead to psychiatric disorders.
Vitamin D helps encourage serotonin production and release. If you're not getting enough vitamin D, taking a supplement may help reduce symptoms related to low serotonin levels, but check with your doctor before beginning supplementation.
Supplementing with it is an effective way to boost your serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels may provide many benefits, such as promoting weight loss, improving the symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia, decreasing the frequency of migraine attacks and helping you sleep better.