A neurotransmitter 

Participates in mood, learning, appetite control, and sleep

Low levels are a cause of depression

Medicinal Treatments for Low Serotonin Levels

Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro

Natural Methods to Increase Serotonin

  • Amino acids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Herbs

Before you take any serotonin supplement, review with your physician in order to assure that it does not interact with any current supplements or medications

Amino Acid Serotonin Supplements

It is not safe to mix any of these amino acid supplements with antidepressant medications

  • Tryptophan

A precursor of serotonin

  • 5-HTP

An amino acid derived from a plant source Griffonia simplicifolia; there is not good data that this supplement helps with depression; it is not indicated for long term use

  • SAM-e (s-adenosyl methioinine)

Naturally is present in our cells, helps to support metabolic functions; may help with depression and arthritis, should not be used with other serotonin affecting supplements and medications

  • L-theonine

Amino acid found in green tea

Increases levels of serotonin

Can obtain in supplement form, or green tea, 3 cups per day

Vitamin and Mineral Serotonin Supplements

  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 facilitates the conversion of either 5-HTP or tryptophan into serotonin

May be used to support 5-HTP and tryptophan supplements

  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

Folic acid deficiency will cause low serotonin levels

Folic acid enhances the effects of both SAM-e and antidepressant medications such as Prozac

  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a serotonin cofactor that can also help with depression

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D regulates the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin

Supplementation can help to support mood

  • Magnesium

It has an impact on serotonin balance.

Can help to support mood, focus, energy, and concentration

  • Zinc

Zinc increases uptake of serotonin and has antidepressant properties

Zinc deficiency is common

Omega-3 essential fatty acids

Found in in cold water fatty fish like salmon and mackerel

Important for overall brain health and function

Two major components of omega-3s are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and both are involved with serotonin

DHA makes increase the activity of serotonin receptors, while EPA increases the release of serotonin from neurons

DHA is generally considered the most important of the omega-3s for brain function

Low levels of DHA are linked to depression and memory loss.

Can supplement in the form of fish oil or krill oil


An overabundance of bad bacteria in the gut creates toxic byproducts called lipopolysaccharides, these can lower serotonin levels

Probiotic supplements can help if you don’t regularly eat fermented foods

Lifestyle factors that interfere with your gut microbiome include: stress, alcohol, sugar, exposure to toxins, antibiotics and birth control pills

Herbal Supplements to Enhance Serotonin Levels

  • Curcumin

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric

Increases levels of both serotonin and dopamine  and may be beneficial for dperession

Isolated curcumin is not very bioavailable; a curcumin supplement that has taken measures to enhance bioavailability is necessary, such as the addition of piperine, a compound found in black pepper (increases curcumin absorption by up to 2000%)

  • Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola rosea may help with memory, concentration, depression, and energy

Also an adpatogenic herb that helps with stress and decreases cortisol