All About Serotonin

Hi, I'm Dr. Marie Starling.

At The Healing Center, we help people like you reach their full potential.

I specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBS, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, and other complex health issues.


By: Jessica Yoches, MNT

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter commonly connected to happiness and mood, but it also has numerous functions and roles in multiple body systems, such as in the gastrointestinal, immune, urinary, reproductive, cardiovascular, and hormonal systems.

Functional medicine recognizes the other roles of serotonin and the importance of a healthy gut. Since 90-95% of serotonin is made in the intestinal mucosa, a healthy gut is necessary for optimal serotonin production.

Having leaky gut associated with autoimmune conditions such as Celiac, Lupus, MS, and Hashimoto’s etc. leads to low serotonin production and other health issues. Dysfunction of serotonin production in the gut is linked with IBS, IBD, and other gut issues such as constipation and infections.

Supporting serotonin production is also important for those with methylation issues and SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, such as MTHFR. Looking at your individual genetics is another piece we can investigate at The Healing Center Denver to integrate into your protocol.

serotonin formula

Functions of Serotonin

  • Gut – regulates digestive enzyme secretion, stimulates peristalsis to push intestinal contents forward, and transmits signals between the nerve cells of the gut and the central nervous system.
  • Hormonal and Metabolic – Regulates energy balance, blood sugar control, and metabolic rate. Serotonin also influences the HPA axis, or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, which affects stress response and even thyroid hormone levels.
  • Urinary – part of bladder control regulation
  • Cardiovascular – helps control blood clotting; monitors contraction and relaxation of blood vessels for vascular tone; helps detect abnormalities of blood flow in the brain; and regulates heart rate, force of contractions, and how much blood the heart is pumping.
  • Brain and Nervous System – the small percentage made in the brain helps control temperature regulation, mood, sleep, anxiety, appetite, pain perception, memory, anger, fear, aggression, addiction, sexuality, motor control, vomiting, and breathing.

Cofactors of Serotonin

  • Niacin, B3 (niacinamide)
  • B6
  • B12
  • Methyl folate or folate
  • Magnesium
  • Tryptophan

Other Serotonin Precursors

  • 5-HTP
  • John’s Wort
  • SAMe

Food Sources of Serotonin

  • Eggs
  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Pineapples
  • Wild Caught fatty fish, such as Salmon
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Turmeric
  • Green Tea
  • Fermented foods
  • Bananas
  • Oats
  • Greens and green juices

 serotonin boosting foods

Related Posts


At the Healing Center Denver, we utilize the Zyto hand scan as part of our comprehensive investigation into your individual health issues, which could include autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, lupus, adrenal fatigue and more.
Just recently, Zyto technology was approved by the FDA as safe and accurate, and is the only energy scanner of its type that is fully approved as a Class II Medical Device and neurological device by the FDA!!

7 Steps to a Healthy Thyroid!

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and mood and bone maintenance.

Staying Safe in the Summer Sun – Sun Exposure, Sunscreen, and Hydration

During the hot summer months, it’s important to stay hydrated and mindful of exposure to the sun. We will discuss staying hydrated, getting sun exposure for Vitamin D synthesis, and healthy sunscreen options.

Summer Recipe from Fresh Perspective!

Hello friends! My name is Sonja Miltner. I am a vegan personal chef, and my business is called Fresh Perspective. My parents converted to vegetarianism in their early twenties and raised me that way as well. In my adult life I found a passion for creating nutritious and delicious vegan meals for my family, my friends, and myself. I offer personalized, in-home meal prep for busy families, professionals, and athletes.

In Doubt about Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that this characterized by sudden reoccurring attacks of severe pain, redness, tenderness, heat/warmth, and swelling in the joints of the body. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint is the most commonly affected area of the body, but it can also affect other major joints of the body (ex: hand, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc…). Gout is commonly caused by an increased intake in foods that are rich in purines and/or a dysfunction of the kidney’s ability to properly excrete uric acid from the body.

Meet Our New Doctor!!

Dr. Katharine Gandy is a passionate student of all things holistic and strives to help others find their optimum life potential. Using disciplines of chiropractic, functional medicine, energy work, massage, and cranial sacral, this integrative natural care physician has been treating patients with a wide range of conditions for over 13 years. Dr. Gandy focuses her continuing education in Neuro-Emotional Technique, nutrition, allergy elimination, pediatrics, and functional neurology to help her patients address the physical, chemical and emotional imbalances created from the multiple stressors we face each day.

Reiki Classes!

In June, The Healing Center is offering a 3-part course to offer clients the opportunity to learn the basics of Reiki healing energy and understand how to use energy for your own healing, and daily wellness. The classes are taught by Suzanne Rainey, a healer and spiritual guide who works with energy and also guides clients through their Akashic Records for healing and insight.

Suzanne is a Karuna Reiki Master, registered with the International Center for Reiki Training, and teaches beginners through masters/teachers, as well as Karuna, the Reiki of Compassion.

Announcement: Foundations of Health: Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment

Have you ever eaten sushi? 

Have you ever used Windex or other common cleaning products?

Have you ever traveled, or kissed someone?

If the answer is yes, you’ve been exposed to pathogens and other toxic chemicals.  Unfortunately, they are a widespread part of our modern lives.

Join us at The Healing Center for Dr. Marie Starling’s FREE Foundations of Health Series, “Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment,” to understand daily exposures that destroy your health, learn what they are, and how to avoid them.

Foundations of Health Lectures Series Dates and Times Announced!

As some of you may know, Dr. Marie Starling is putting on a FREE lecture series starting in April!  “Foundations of Health,” is a series designed to share Dr. Starling’s wealth of knowledge with anyone interested in long term health.  You don’t need to be a patient!  In fact, we are encouraging patient’s to bring any family or friends that don’t quite understand what it is you do when you’re at The Healing Center OR have interest in becoming a patient themselves.

How Emotions Affect Your Health: Drop the Emotional Baggage for Good

Every day each of us experiences an array of emotions that can range from pure illation to the worst kind of grief, sometimes making it feel like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster. Though most emotions leave the body after they are experienced, some will latch on, continuing to have a negative effect without us consciously knowing. Before we dive into why some emotions…