Serotonin deficiency, and its associated tryptophan depletion issue, can cause a number of health problems.

It has been long known that having enough serotonin, and its metabolite, the amino acid tryptophan, improves mood, helps sleep, depression, and anxiety; however, the heart and gut connection is new to a lot of people.

Julia Ross, whom wrote The Mood Cure says that the most common physical symptoms of low serotonin include:

1)      gut and heart problems

2)      sleep problems

3)      fibromyalgia and other pain conditions

4)      cravings for carbohydrates, alcohol, and certain drugs

Serotonin deficiency cause issues with the heart and gut

Nerves often cause anxiety and anxiety attacks in people, and heart palpitations. The nervous system is also intrinsically tied to the gut, and is why people often get a “gut feeling” about something, and are usually right!

You may even have a gut feeling that you have a serotonin deficiency. Julia Ross also states that “90% of the serotonin in your body is not in your brain; it’s in your gut.”

According to D Keszthelyi, FJ Troost, et al., at the Top Institute Food and Nutrition in Wageningen, Netherlands, “Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT), a tryptophan metabolite, plays an important regulatory role in the human central nervous system and in the gastrointestinal tract.”

Ease the gut with amino acid tryptophan to raise serotonin levels

One of the first places tryptophan is placed in the body is through the gut via foods we eat. A pro-serotonin diet (meaning high-tryptophan foods) we can help eliminate the issue of serotonin deficiency.

Ross continues concerning serotonin deficiency, “When you raise your serotonin levels, your digestive tension (including constipation) can often dissolve along with your mental constriction. Your hear is also partly serotonin dependent; it’s well known that low-serotonin-style negative moods, including fear and anger, are closely associated with heart disease.”

Try eating high-tryptophan and serotonin deficiency alleviating protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs. It is important that you nourish all of your emotional centers… the brain, gut, and heart, by not allowing a serotonin deficiency to create problems you could otherwise live without.

The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at and Vancouver Health News at  National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at, plus our newest portal at


Ross, J. (2002). The Mood Cure. NY: Penguin Group.