Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fish And Sunlight Help In Good Brain Function

Fish And Sunlight Help In Good Brain Function

Many research findings have pointed that serotonin regulates a wide variety of brain functions and behaviors. Varying concentration of serotonin have been linked with various medical conditions such as hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. Moreover, it is not very clear how supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D improve cognitive function and behavior in these brain disorders. Inadequate levels of vitamin D (~70% of the population) and omega-3 fatty acids are common, suggesting that brain serotonin synthesis is not optimal.

In a recent publication in FASEBJ, the authors have proposed mechanisms by which serotonin synthesis, release, and function in the brain are modulated by vitamin D and the 2 marine omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Their salient findings are:

1. Brain serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan by tryptophan hydroxylase 2, which is transcriptionally activated by vitamin D hormone.

2. EPA increases serotonin release from presynaptic neurons by reducing E2 series prostaglandins and DHA influences serotonin receptor action by increasing cell membrane fluidity in postsynaptic neurons.

3. Insufficient levels of vitamin D, EPA, or DHA, in combination with genetic factors and at key periods during development, would lead to dysfunctional serotonin activation and function and may be one underlying mechanism that contributes to neuropsychiatric disorders and depression.

Their model suggests that optimizing vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake may help prevent and modulate the severity of brain dysfunction.

Article citation: Patrick, R. P. and Ames, B. N. Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. doi:10.1096/fj.14-268342

South Indians and Bengali's have sunlight and fish...... :-)