Chemical Imbalance in the Brain: What You Should Know

Chemical Imbalance in the Brain: What You Should Know

The human body contains a number of substances which are vital to life. These include oxygen, carbon dioxide (CO2), water, nitrogenous waste products such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and hormones like insulin, thyroid hormone, growth hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). All these substances play their part in maintaining health but some have a greater impact than others. One of the most important of these is the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Serotonin plays a major role in mood regulation, appetite control and sleep. When there is too little or too much of this substance in your system, you may experience depression, anxiety disorders, mania and psychosis.

Serotonin deficiency can occur due to illness or injury; from taking drugs including antidepressants; through genetic factors; or even through dieting and excessive exercise. If you suffer from any of these conditions then you will need to look at ways of increasing your levels of serotonin.

In this article I am going to tell you about two natural methods which can increase your levels of serotonin naturally. Both involve eating foods rich in tryptophan and choline, the building blocks for serotonin.

Foods rich in tryptophan and choline

Foods rich in choline are meats, eggs, peanuts, soybeans and most types of seafood. While foods rich in tryptophan are poultry, fish, cottage cheese, spinach, bananas and most types of seeds. One easy way of remembering which foods contain tryptophan and which contain choline is to think of the words chicken and eggs. Foods containing tryptophan are all types of poultry, while those containing choline are all types of meat.

Eating foods rich in these two substances can help to elevate your levels of serotonin and may help you to manage your mood and anxiety better. If you want to try this approach you should eat at least three servings of tryptophan-rich foods and two servings of choline-rich foods every day.

The second natural approach you can take to increase your levels of serotonin is with the help of supplements. There are a number of types of supplements which can help you to do this and I will tell you about some of the best ones that are available.


5-hydroxytryptophan, more commonly known as 5-HTP, is one such supplement and is widely available on the market today.

Sources & references used in this article:

The media and the chemical imbalance theory of depression by J Leo, JR Lacasse – Society, 2008 – Springer

How do people taking psychiatric drugs explain their “chemical imbalance?” by D Cohen, S Hughes – Ethical Human Psychology and …, 2012 –

The” chemical imbalance” explanation for depression: Origins, lay endorsement, and clinical implications. by CM France, PH Lysaker… – … Psychology: Research and …, 2007 –

Psychiatry’s” Chemical Imbalance” Fraud: Who Killed Rebecca Riley? by FA Baughman Jr – Ethical Human Psychology and …, 2008 –

Psychological issues in treatment of the “chemical imbalance” by SN Lurie – American journal of psychotherapy, 1991 – Am Psychiatric Assoc

Antidepressants and the chemical imbalance theory of depression: A reflection and update on the discourse by JR Lacasse, J Leo – The Behavior Therapist, 2015 –

“Chemical Imbalance”: a clinical non sequitur by B Lachter – Australasian Psychiatry, 2001 –