Alcoholism and the Serotonin Neurotransmitter System
Alcoholism and the Serotonin Neurotransmitter System – Use Amino Acids to Help Stop Alcoholism
The lack of serotonin in the brain is directly related to simple carbohydrate and sugar cravings. Of course, it is therefore a factor in alcohol cravings. While we are on the subject, you can add compulsiveness to the list. There is now a lot of evidence that ties serotonin deficiency to almost all obsessive and compulsive disorders as well.
Research has also confirmed that alcoholism is a biochemical problem due to a metabolic disorder. One of the main causes occurs when a person has a deficiency of serotonin in their neurotransmitter system. This results in a wide range of problems for the person who is predisposed to alcoholism. Most often, these individuals are severely lacking in serotonin.
When serotonin levels are normal, we can feel joy, peace of mind, serenity and well-being as well as various other positive feelings. When serotonin levels are low, the brain struggles to produce any of these good feelings. People with this condition are irritable, obsessive, compulsive, and stressed most of the time.
These feelings are not so much due to an individual’s surroundings and environment (although these are factors) as they are to an inability to deal with them. This lack of ability is because the brain does not have enough of the essential neurotransmitters to allow the person to stay calm and joyful in times of stress.
It has been proven that people with drinking problems have very low levels of these neurotransmitters. Further, their brains have too many receptors to receive neurotransmitters. These receptors have developed in an effort to get more of what the brain needs. This is called “upregulated” brain chemistry and is a common problem for alcoholics.
The damage that causes this condition can be either inherent in the individual, or a result of outside factors. In the first case, a person can be born with the condition and in many ways can be termed genetic.
However, a more common cause of serotonin neurotransmitter deficiency seems to be a result of environmental influences. These include diets high in sugar, malnutrition, or other chemical and toxic influences.
So, when an alcoholic stops drinking, there is more work to be done. The body must be healed of the physical problems that are still there. This means replenishing the lost nutrients and in this case, the serotonin levels in the brain.
This can be accomplished through the use of a supplement called L-Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that turns into serotonin when it is processed by the body. It is commonly used for people with sleep disorders because serotonin is a key factor in getting a good night’s sleep. However, it is also a key factor in staying sober. It helps anyone to stay calm and relaxed and at peace with themselves.
Tryptophan must be taken in combination with another supplement to be effective. Vitamin B-6 (which most alcoholics are deficient in) is necessary to convert the tryptophan to serotonin. The tryptophan is taken on an empty stomach more often in the evening and the vitamin B-6 is best taken with food during the day.
In summary, you can stop alcoholism with proper nutrition. Replenishing low levels of serotonin in the brain is a key factor in doing this.
Another excellent amino acid supplement is called “Glutamine”. It can be purchased in capsules or in a powder format. Often, people heavily involved in physical fitness use this supplement to encourage the growth of muscle tissue. Body builders use this a lot.
L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and it makes up to 35 percent of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood. And, about 60% of your skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine. Supplementing this amino acid can aid protein synthesis and help naturally balance your pH levels.
Finally, L-Glutamine has been found to reduce alcohol cravings within just a few minutes with some of the powder inside a capsule placed on the tongue. Usually, 500 or 1000mg will do a lot when used in this manner. Plus, a regular regime is always helpful as added insurance against physiological alcohol cravings.