Serotonin - Can anyone interpret this?


Nov 1, 2012
"Serotonin research is relatively new, but it rivals estrogen research for the level of incompetence and apparent fraudulent intent that can be found in professional publications."

"In animal studies LSD, and other anti-serotonin agents, increase playfulness and accelerate learning, and cause behavioral impairment only at very high doses. While reserpine was used medically for several decades, and was eventually found to have harmful side effects, medical research in LSD was stopped before its actual side effects could be discovered. The misrepresentations about LSD, as a powerful antiserotonin agent, allowed a set of cultural stereotypes about serotonin to be established. Misconceptions about serotonin and melatonin and tryptophan, which are metabolically interrelated, have persisted, and it seems that the drug industry has exploited these mistakes to promote the “new generation” of psychoactive drugs as activators of serotonin responses. If LSD makes people go berserk, as the government claimed, then a product to amplify the effects of serotonin should make people sane." ... sion.shtml


Jul 24, 2013
Alright, Alex, I'll take the "Commercialism Confounding Science" category for $400.

For entertainment purposes, I will briefly respond.

This researcher Azmitia has authored dozens of papers on serotonin and neurotransmitters over several decades. I have only skimmed the paper being cited. I am only an amateur forum lurker. It would take weeks of full time work to read many of Azmitia's papers carefully. At a glance, he seems thoughtful and diligent within his field.

His paper is fairly sober about serotonin. It does not contend that, say, all depression is a Prozac deficiency (and thus secondarily a serotonin deficiency). He notes that serotonin is an important, incompletely understood, chemical in humans and many species, not a magic spray:

"Serotonin is not considered an essential part of any of these processes, but rather functions as a ‘master regulator’, which not only orchestrates the development and ageing of the individual, but may also be involved in the procreation, survival and evolution of the species"

I hope thoughtful Peatarians recognize that estrogen, serotonin, growth hormone, nitric oxide, adrenalin and other stress responses also have a role to play. The organism needs stimulation in life. But the context of better stimulation, and recovery from over-stimulation, needs better understanding.

To oversimplify, some adaptive responses occur best as short term functions to bridge more emergency and abrupt situations. These are punctuations in the longer view life that is generating, exploring and receptively expanding. Thyroid, progesterone, pregnenolone, natural light with red spectrum, salt, protein and other factors support the generative mode. They also protect against the decline from stress factors like estrogen, serotonin, and adrenalin.

It's no surprise that life functions can have stress/stimulating and restorative/replenishing stages. Serotonin tends to function more in the stress/stimulating situations. It's expected that emergency/compensatory responses would be found in processes of decline, such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. Here we find serotonin, when restorative functions are lacking.

There is a huge gap between noticing that chemicals are present at the molecular sub-sub-cellular level, and know the integral effects on individuals and populations. (An old book by Eliot Valenstein, Blaming the Brain, makes this point well.) It would be misleading to claim that the coordination of serotonin functions from molecule to macroscopic human life action is understood.

A person who asserts that the cause of unhappiness or depression is caused by lack of serotonin (or too rapid "re-uptake" of serotonin) has to explain many problems with that conjecture, including:

(1) Serotonin-boosting drugs fail to treat depression well a large amount of the time
(2) Serotonin-lowering drugs also treat depression
(3) Serotonin-boosting drugs can have dangerous and widespread side effects
(4) The use of Serotonin-boosting drugs coincides exactly with their patent-status and profitability.

We don't want to eliminate emergency responses and physiologic stimulation. They deserve research. But the context of generative energy and accessible, affordable metabolic support deserves even more attention. Under current conditions, a truthful tradition studying generative metabolism is done by a heroic few, including Dr. Peat.


Jul 25, 2013
I think this makes sense. In a serotonin-depleted brain there would be more serotonin neurons to compensate for the lack of stimulating serotonin. Likewise, in a serotonin flooded brain, the number of serotonin neurons would decrease.
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