Neurotransmitters

The following chart gives an overview of how F&Q and other associated neuro-nutrients are closely linked to the neurotransmitter deficiencies within our brain and health.

AMINO ACID
& NUTRIENTS

DEFICIENCY

TOXICITY

GENETICS OR NATURAL DEPLETION

EXTERNAL /CHEMICAL SOURCE OF DEPLETION

PRESENT
IN FOODS

DOPAMINE
(Pleasure, Love, and Integration of Thoughts and Feelings)

PHENYLALANINE—converts to—>TYROSINE—converts to—>DOPA—converts to—>DOPAMINE

Dopamine is widespread in the brain as well as the rest of the nervous system. Phenylalanine and tyrosine are precursors to the body’s three “fight or flight” neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (adrenaline). This neurotransmitter plays a critical role in the control of movement. It has a stimulating effect on the heart, the circulation, the rate of metabolism, and is able to mobilize many of the body’s energy reserves. It helps to modulate brain activity, control coordination and movement, and regulate the flow of information to different areas of the brain. Dopamine is believed to release chemicals that allow us to feel pleasure (e.g., endorphins). A massive disturbance of dopamine regulation in the brain can result in a person no longer being able to respond emotionally or express his or her feelings in an appropriate way (e.g., schizophrenia). The main precursor for this neurotransmitter is the nonessential amino acid tyrosine. While tyrosine is contained in many foods, it is classified as a non-essential amino acid because ordinarily our bodies can create it. Still, deficiencies in the production of tyrosine can occur, and increased dietary supplementation may be necessary. Folic acid, niacin, iron, and B6 are necessary cofactors.

L-Phenylalanine,
Vitamin B6, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B9, Iron

Reduced Pleasure, Ability To Feel Attachment, & Love; Lack Of Remorse About Actions

Schizophrenia Like Symptoms, Voices “In Your Head”

Depleted By Trauma; If Mother and/or Father Had Diminished Dopamine This Level Can Be Passed On Via Genetics

Depleted By All Stimulant Drugs, Rx or Otherwise; Including Nicotine & Caffeine, Used During Pregnancy This Can Lower Available Dopamine In Fetus

Apples; Beets; Blue-green algae; Celery; Chicken; Cucumber; Fish; Green leafy vegetables; Honey; Cheese; Sweet peppers; Tofu; Watermelon

NOREPINEPHRINE
(Energy, Stimulation, Fight or Flight)

PHENYLALANINE—converts to—>TYROSINE—converts to—>DOPA—converts to—>DOPAMINE
—converts to—>NOREPINEPHRINE

Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is a catecholamine with dual roles as a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is synthesized from dopamine by dopamine ß-hydroxylase. It is released from the adrenal medulla into the blood as a hormone, and is also a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system where it is released from noradrenergic neurons. The actions of norepinephrine are carried out via the binding to adrenergic receptors. As a stress hormone, norepinephrine affects parts of the brain where attention and responding actions are controlled. Along with epinephrine, norepinephrine also underlies the fight-or-flight response, directly increasing heart rate, triggering the release of glucose from energy stores, and increasing blood flow to skeletal muscle. Norepinephrine is released when a host of physiological changes are activated by a stressful event. The noradrenergic neurons in the brain form a neurotransmitter system, that, when activated, exerts effects on large areas of the brain. The effects are alertness and arousal, and influences on the reward system. Anatomically, the noradrenergic neurons originate both in the locus coeruleus and the lateral tegmental field. The axons of the neurons in the locus coeruleus act on adrenergic receptors in: spinal cord, thalamus, hypothalamus, striatum, neocortex, cingulate gyrus, cingulum, hippocampus, and amygdala.

L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

Lack Of Energy; Lack Of Drive; Reduced Focus On Goals

Manic (Extremely Hyperactive); Increased Heart Rate & BP

Diminished Dopamine Results In Reduce Norepinephrine

Depleted By Stimulants of All Kinds; Can Be Made Inactive By Marijuana

Almonds; Apples; Avocado; Bananas; Cheese; Fish; Green Vegetables; Lean Meat; Nuts; Grains; Pineapple; Poultry

EPINEPHRINE
(Energy, Stimulation, Fight or Flight)

PHENYLALANINE—converts to—>TYROSINE—converts to—>DOPA—converts to—>DOPAMINE
—converts to—>NOREPINEPHRINE—converts to—>EPINEPHRINE

Epinephrine (widely called adrenaline) is a hormone and neurotransmitter. It is a catecholamine, a sympathomimetic monoamine derived from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Epinephrine is a “fight or flight” hormone, and plays a central role in the short-term stress reaction. It is released from the adrenal glands when danger threatens or in an emergency. Such triggers may be threatening, exciting, or environmental stressor conditions such as high noise levels, or bright light. When secreted into the bloodstream, it rapidly prepares the body for action in emergency situations. The hormone boosts the supply of oxygen and glucose to the brain and muscles, while suppressing other non-emergency bodily processes (digestion in particular). It increases heart rate and stroke volume, dilates the pupils, and constricts arterioles in the skin and gut while dilating arterioles in skeletal muscles. It elevates the blood sugar level by increasing catalysis of glycogen to glucose in the liver, and at the same time begins the breakdown of lipids in fat cells. Like some other stress hormones, epinephrine has a suppressive effect on the immune system. Although epinephrine does not have any psychoactive effects, stress or arousal also releases norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine has similar actions in the body, but is also psychoactive. Epinephrine is used as a drug to treat cardiac arrest and other cardiac dysrhythmias. Because of its suppressive effect on the immune system, epinephrine is used to treat anaphylaxis and sepsis. Allergy patients undergoing immunotherapy may receive an epinephrine rinse before the allergen extract is administered, thus reducing the immune response to the administered allergen. It is also used as a bronchodilator for asthma if specific beta2-adrenergic receptor agonists are unavailable or ineffective. Because of various expressions of a1 or ß2-receptors, depending on the patient, administration of epinephrine may raise or lower blood pressure, depending whether or not the net increase or decrease in peripheral resistance can balance the positive inotropic and chronotropic effects of epinephrine on the heart, effects which respectively increase the contractility and rate of the heart.

L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B6

Lack Of Energy; Lack Of Drive; Reduced Focus On Goals

Manic (Extremely Hyperactive); Increased Heart Rate & BP

Diminished Dopamine Results In Reduce Norepinephrine

Depleted By Stimulants of All Kinds; Can Be Made Inactive By Marijuana

Almonds; Apples; Avocado; Bananas; Cheese; Fish; Green Vegetables; Lean Meat; Nuts; Grains; Pineapple; Poultry

ENKEPHALIN
(Internal Calm, Psychological Pain Relief & Management, Feelings Of Euphoria)

HYPOTHALAMUS—secretes in the brain—>PEPTIDES—converts to—>NEUROPEPTIDES
—converts to—>ENKEPHALIN

Enkephalins belong to a class of neurotransmitters called neuropeptides which are found in neurons of the brain and the rest of our body. They are produced by a breakdown of larger amino acids, peptides, found in neurons. The discovery of how brain communicates through neuropeptides is very recent. Neuropeptides are found in the gut, skin, pituitary, pancreas, adrenals and other part of the body where they are intimately involved in controlling such body functions as appetite, sexual drive, recovery from shock, etc. The peptides which interact with receptors or with morphine or similar molecules attached are called endogenous opioids and include endorphins, enkephalins, and dynorphins. Endogenous opioids affect perception of pain, mood, food intake and scores of other behavioral patterns. The peptides with morphine-like activity have structure quite different from morphine. The most dramatic aspect of these morphine receptors is the reward system associated with these receptors. When we do something which results in our brain rewarding us with a shot of this “happy” chemical, we are bound to repeat doing it. But if we did something that shut off this chemical slug, it would make us feel “bad” and perhaps we would not repeat that. This is what scientists call conditional learning.

L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9

Deep Sense of Inadequacy; Incompleteness; Inability To Combat Physical Pain

Excessive Sedation; Can Be Fatal If Combined With Other Sedating Agents

Opioid Levels Passed From Parents To Offspring; Trauma Reduces Availability

All Drugs Effecting Opioid System Will Eventually Reduce Natural Supply If Used For Prolonged Periods

Fish; Algae; Wheat Germ; Green Leafy Vegetables; Tortula Yeast; Egg Yolks

SEROTONIN
(Emotional Stability, Calm, Sleep, Appetite Control)

L-TRYPTOPHAN—converts to—>5HTP—converts to—>SEROTONIN—converts to—>MELATONIN

Serotonin affects numerous bodily systems. There are 17 known types of serotonin receptors, with the largest quantity of serotonin being produced in the intestines. Serotonin acts in a variety of ways and is involved in about one quarter of all the body’s biological processes. Serotonin stimulates release of a hormone, melatonin within the pineal gland, which regulates the body clock and sleep. It has also been shown to play a role in the onset of migraine headaches by causing blood vessels to constrict, affects blood clotting, heartbeat, and mood (it can reduce depression). Alterations of serotonin activity is a common effect of psychedelic drugs, (e.g., LSD is structurally similar to serotonin). Serotonin is synthesized directly from the essential amino acid tryptophan, which must come from the diet, with the assistance of vitamin B6 and carbohydrates. Yet the amount of tryptophan that gets into the brain depends on the relative amounts of other amino acids in your blood. Because amino acids are the building blocks of protein, one might think that eating a high-protein meal would be a good way to get more tryptophan into the brain. But because protein foods typically contain much smaller amounts of tryptophan than other amino acids, this is not the best strategy. In contrast, a high-carbohydrate meal changes the odds in favor of tryptophan by increasing insulin, which pulls competing amino acids out of our blood and into our cells. Even though the actual amount of tryptophan in the blood hasn’t changed, more passes into the brain. This helps to explain why people often feel comforted after eating carbohydrate-rich foods (e.g., cake) and depressed people tend to binge on more carbohydrates.

L-Tryptophan, Calcium, Magnesium,
Vitamin B6,
Chromium

Edgy; Irritable; Tearful; Irrational Emotions

Can Result In “Serotonin Syndrome” If Multiple SSRI’s Used Together

Females More Susceptible To Reduced Availability During Menstrual Periods; Prolonged Lack Of Direct Sunlight Reduces Serotonin

Drugs Which Prolong Action of Serotonin May Result In Excessive Breakdown of the Transmitter; All Psychedelic Drugs, LSD, PCP, Etc, – Reduce Serotonin

Bananas; Beets; Blue-green algae; Brown rice; Cheese; Fennel; Figs; Fish; Ham; Milk; Nuts; Pasta; Pineapple; Potatoes; Radishes; Spinach; Tomatoes; Turkey; Whole Grains

GABA
(Tension and Stress Control, Induces Relaxation and Sleep)

GLUTAMINE—converts to—>GABA 

Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring amino acid manufactured in the brain that works as natural “brain tonic.” More specifically, when the brain experiences an abundance of nervous tension and stress, it can be caused by a surplus of norepinephrine or epinephrine (adrenaline). To neutralize this extra adrenaline, the brain produces neurotransmitters, one of which is GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid), which have inhibitory effects upon the nervous system. L-Glutamine (Q) is an amino acid that in a precursor to GABA. Using a nutritional supplement that contains l-glutamine along with a balanced diet can support the natural replenishment of GABA, as well as other neurotransmitters. GABA makes it easier for vitamins and oxygen to reach the brain, regulates the function of brain nerve cells, and has the ability to act as a balancer for the brain. It promotes relaxation, easing nervous tension, and increasing human growth hormone level, which helps in increasing fat consumption in the body. In addition, gamma amino butyric acid has the ability to relax and strengthen the nervous system. Decreased levels of gamma amino butyric acid in the brain can cause seizures, panic attacks, and neurological disorders. Nutritional supplement of gamma amino butyric acid can help in preventing these deficiencies and also promoting overall mental health. In addition, nutritional supplements of GABA can help in the treatment of a number of diseases related with the brain and nervous system.

L-Glutamine, Vitamin B6

Anxious; Racing Thoughts; Panic

Excessive Sedation

Depleted By Trauma; Reduced Levels In Parents Can Result In DNA/RNA Reduction Of GABA In Child

Depleted By Sedative Drugs, Including Tranquilizers & Alcohol

Lean Beef & Pork; Sesame Seeds; Fowl; Sunflower Seeds