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The Importance of Serotonin
            By Dr. Neil Nedley

            Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain, particularly in the frontal lobe. This is an area that needs to be vi­tally enhanced in depressed patients. The brain can make no serotonin unless tryptophan is first present. Most depressed pa­tients have a loss of appetite (appetite in­crease occurs in only a minority of the de­pressed). Thus, the foods that they do eat should have an abundance of tryptophan. Foods that are high in tryptophan are listed in Figure 1.


Note that whole milk has the lowest amount of tryptophan on the list, though many people believe that milk is one of the best sources of tryptophan. Fortunately, there are better sources, with tofu (soybean curd) being the best source in this list.

As the previous chapter stated, some depressed individuals are very sensitive to even a small, temporary reduction in tryptophan, and missing just one day of moderate to high tryptophan intake can send them into a relapse of depression. Misty is one of my patients who noticed that she had to get enough tryptophan to stay mentally healthy.

From the book

From the bookDepression, the Way Out,
Nedley  Publishing, Ardmore, OK, 2001 Neil Nedley, M.D.,
Nedley Health Solutions
P. O. Box 1565
Ardmore, OK 73402

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