Most low moods are caused by low serotonin.

These are some of the symptoms of low serotonin.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another.

How is serotonin made?

Serotonin begins with tryptophan, an amino acid, and specific nutrients that convert it into 5- HTP which is then converted into serotonin.

What does serotonin specifically do?

Serotonin influences brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior. 

Are you low in serotonin?

If you are low in serotonin, you are likely to be experiencing feelings of impatience, edginess, and unreasonable irritability.

If you are low in serotonin, you could be a perfectionist. You may feel driven, unable to relax about grades, looks, or work. You may wonder about, or have other people comment on, your tendency to focus on a single worry such as your weight, your work, or a problem that you perceive in someone else.

You may be experiencing a cluster of traits that all have to do with a single annoying or even tormenting symptoms of low serotonin: false fear. Whether you experience it as shyness, anxiety, or panic, your fear quotient is a good gauge of how deficient in serotonin you are.

Low serotonin is also a very common cause of or factor in depression. Anyone who is currently taking an SSRI anti-depressant is on that medication because they are low in serotonin.

Besides the symptoms mentioned above, other common physical symptoms of low serotonin are:

  • Gut and heart problems
  • Cravings for carbohydrates, alcohol, and certain drugs
  • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): You can tell if you have SAD because you will really dislike the dark weather or have a clear-cut fall/winter depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Menopausal and PMS mood related problems
  • Bulimia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Migraines, tension headaches or chronic daily headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ
  • Sleep challenges

What zaps your serotonin?

  • Menopause: menopausal women low on estrogen can be low on serotonin.  Estrogen helps program serotonin production in the brain.
  • Poor diet: short on vitamins, minerals and quality protein that are required to produce serotonin.
  • Vitamin D deficiency:  A 2014 study shows that serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, three brain hormones that affect social behavior, are all activated by vitamin D hormone.
  • A magnesium deficiency: serotonin balance is magnesium dependent.
  • An inflamed intestinal lining hinders the production of serotonin, which is produced in the gut.
  • Poor intestinal flora balance: gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin.
  • Chronic stress: high levels of cortisol suppress production of serotonin.
  • Winter: if there is not enough bright light then there is no signal to your brain to produce serotonin.
  • Lack of exercise: exercise can raise serotonin.
  • Vegetarian: most vegetarian foods contain way less tryptophan than animal-derived foods.
  • Stimulants: such as caffeine, ephedra, diet pills, and cocaine are serotonin enemy number one.
  • Artificial sweeteners: such as aspartame (NutraSweet) is serotonin enemy number two.

Genetics may be a factor to consider.

The tendency toward depression (caused by low serotonin) is one of those traits related to neurotransmitter metabolism that can be inherited. What goes on in your life can exaggerate or diminish your genetic tendencies. If you have inherited a tendency toward insufficient serotonin, a little stress and a little alcohol may plunge you into despair.

When one parent is depressed (low serotonin), the lifetime risk for the children to be affected is 17%. When both parents are depressed, the risk to their children of developing depression at any time in their life is 55 to 75%.

Studies show a higher incidence of depression in families with alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and hyperactive children. But the good news is that that the natural treatment for depression can often improve or eliminate these genetically associated conditions.

For example, if you were depressed and had an eating disorder, by correcting the depression naturally you could correct the eating disorder because your appetite and mood control centers are in the same area of the brain, and both are influenced by serotonin.


**unless you are suicidal or can’t function and then you should seek medical attention immediately.

1. If you are not already taking your Daily Essential Nutrients (used to be sold as the Total Health Pack).  Here is what you need How-to-Build-Your-Own-Total-Health-Pack-Updated.pdf (

2. If you feel overwhelmed by the list in the Daily Essential Nutrients (Total Health Pack), you will still require these bare bones components as they are ESSENTIAL for overcoming low mood. Here is what you need every day.

a. a multivitamin and mineral daily which will supply the B vitamins and minerals you need.



** These are the only multi’s I recommend out of all the multi’s available in all of Canada.

Vitamin B deficiency influence memory function, cognitive impairment and dementia. In particular, vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12 are essential for neuronal function and deficiencies have been linked to depression. 

Cells depend on minerals to create certain chemical reactions necessary to produce vital hormones and other chemicals, such as serotonin.

b. 4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. **Please note that whether or not you are taking ALL the Daily Essential Nutrients or this list of bare bones basics, you will want to increase your dosage of vitamin D as there is only a small amount of vitamin D in your multivitamin/mineral.

Prairie Naturals VITAMIN D3 1000 IU (

This vitamin is needed to convert the amino acids into neurotransmitters. Studies show a very clear link between low levels of vitamin D and significantly higher rates of depression.

c. 1,000 mg of buffered vitamin C with bioflavonoids daily.

Sisu Ester-C – 1000 mg Bonus ( (tablet one a day or two capsules daily).

Sisu Ester-C – Bonus Size (  (600 mg capsules)

Vitamin C and bioflavanoids: work together to help prevent stress burnout. Your adrenal glands use up about 90% of the vitamin C you take in and require a constant rich supply of the B vitamins as well. This is critical given that adrenal exhaustion is a common cause of depression.

d. One omega 3 daily.

New Roots Herbal Wild Omega 3 ( 

Omega-3: is great for alleviating depression because omega 3’s first home is your brain. Every time you consume omega 3, your brain gets first dibs, because no other fats can do as good a job.

3. Eliminate all artificial sweeteners including aspartame, NutraSweet and Splenda.

4. Reduce caffeine consumption. For more details go here.

5 CRITICAL LIFESTYLE STRATEGIES TO STAY HEALTHY – Brenda Eastwood’s Total Health Resource and Store (

5. Create sugar free days.  For more details go here.

5 CRITICAL LIFESTYLE STRATEGIES TO STAY HEALTHY – Brenda Eastwood’s Total Health Resource and Store (

6. Make sure to balance your magnesium. Do you need magnesium? What kind should you take? How much should you take? All the answers can be found in this free magnesium usage guide. Magnesium-Usage-Guide-03-23.pdf (  I highly recommend this magnesium. New Roots Herbal Magnesium Citrate Plus L-Taurine (

7. Make sure to include foods that supply ample tryptophan (amino acid) such as mutton, venison, beef liver, calf’s liver, chicken breast, turkey breast, halibut, cod, tuna, shrimp, mackerel, salmon, snapper, and scallops.

8. Get regular exercise but don’t exhaust yourself doing it. For more details go here.

5 CRITICAL LIFESTYLE STRATEGIES TO STAY HEALTHY – Brenda Eastwood’s Total Health Resource and Store (

9. Begin taking a daily probiotic to balance your intestinal flora. I recommend Pro Biotika, one capsule twice a day with meals.  Enerex Pro Biotika (

10. Add 5htp or l-tryptophan to your daily regime. For details go here.  Raise Your Serotonin Naturally – Brenda Eastwood’s Total Health Resource and Store (

Your bare bones supplement regime would look like this.

After Breakfast or lunch

1 Multivitamin/mineral

1,000 to 1,200 mg of vitamin C

4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D

1 Pro Biotika

After Dinner

1 omega 3

1 Pro Biotika

Before Bed

1 to 5 magnesium citrate with l-taurine

5htp or l-tryptophan as per article

If you are taking the equivalent ALL your Daily Essential Nutrients (which is the equivalent to the Total Health Pack) you would take 

After Breakfast or lunch

1 Multivitamin/mineral

1,000 to 1,200 mg of vitamin C

4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D

1 green tea extract

1,000 mg of MSM

1 Pro Biotika

After Dinner

1 vitamin E

1 omega 3

1 Pro Biotika

Before Bed:

1 to 5 magnesium citrate with l-taurine

5htp or l-tryptophan as per article “Raise Your Serotonin Naturally”


Copyright Brenda Eastwood 2023 –“Ten Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally”

The information made available in this document is intended for educational or reference purposes only. Nutritional Therapy and/or Coaching is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, mental or physical, and is not intended as a substitute for regular medical care.