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serotonin and depression- not what we've been told by the drug companies?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 11, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Recently I've been trying both 5htp and tryptophan to help me sleep. However, I have dysbiosis and wondered if the tryptophan I'm taking could be feeding the bad bacteria. Sure enough I found some articles and research supporting that idea http://jamespendleton.suite101.com/the-urine-indican-test-a98984. My question is, if we assume dysbiosis is very common among people eating the standard american diet, which i believe, then how much of a role does serotonin deficiency have in depression via the bad bacteria feeding on tryptophan? I know there are many other causes of depression that have bigger roles, but the drug companies have always told us the sole cause was a deficiency of serotonin. They were wrong, but I wonder what the relationship is between the degree of dysbiosis, the inflammation and other problems it causes that lead to depression, and serotonin deficiency.

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on December 12, 2011
at 07:58 AM

Actually I just found this article http://www.wellnessresources.com/freedom/articles/why_antidepressants_cause_brain_damage_breast_cancer_and_early_mortality/. It claims ssris are actually pro-inflammatory and has evidence to back that up. That could account for the studies showing that ssris are no more effective than placebo in treating depression.

Medium avatar

on December 11, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I've been wanting to get a stool sample for a long time to confirm dysbiosis but I'm pretty much broke right now so I can't afford one. However, from my research I believe I have all the symptoms of dysbiosis.

Medium avatar

on December 11, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Good answer. So far I'd agree there's more evidence supporting inflammation as a cause of depression rather than serotonin deficiency. I read those articles, she does a very thorough analysis of how those things can cause depression.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 11, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Hey Chris, I've seen you refer to your dysbiosis a few times, but have you actually had a stool sample to verify this? I just got one done with Doctor's Data, cost around $300. Not cheap, but was nice to learn that I don't have any overgrowth of bad bacteria, I'm just low in a couple of the good ones.

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on December 11, 2011
at 09:20 PM

According to Dr. Emily Deans, antidepressants don't work because they increase levels of serotonin. They work because they're anti-inflammatory. The hypothesis that depression is caused by serotonin deficiency isn't well supported. According to Dr. Deans, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction are the likely causes of depression. So, I think that dysbiosis wouldn't necessarily lead to depression because of serotonin deficiency, but rather because it is a marker of inflammation.

Here are 2 posts about this topic:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/11/depression-beyond-chemical-imbalance.html http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/12/beyond-chemical-imbalance-part-2.html

Medium avatar

on December 12, 2011
at 07:58 AM

Actually I just found this article http://www.wellnessresources.com/freedom/articles/why_antidepressants_cause_brain_damage_breast_cancer_and_early_mortality/. It claims ssris are actually pro-inflammatory and has evidence to back that up. That could account for the studies showing that ssris are no more effective than placebo in treating depression.

Medium avatar

on December 11, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Good answer. So far I'd agree there's more evidence supporting inflammation as a cause of depression rather than serotonin deficiency. I read those articles, she does a very thorough analysis of how those things can cause depression.

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