Neurotransmitter


Brain showing activity.See the neurotransmitters at work in the picture to the left.  Those flashes of light represent your brain using neurotransmitters.  In fact, they send signals back and forth within your brain and then out to the rest of your body.

Neurotransmitters & Your Brain

Your brain is full of brain cells like the ones in the picture to the right.  Brain Cells, FiringThe brain signals jump from one brain cell to the next.  Actually, your body uses various nutrients to help transmit these signals. When nutrients are being used by the brain in this manner, the nutrients are called neurotransmitters.  Therefore, neurotransmitters are the tiny nutrients, such as amino acids and B vitamins, as well as a few other substances used by the brain to communicate with itself and the other parts of your body.

Where do neurotransmitters come from?

Most neurotransmitters come from the food you eat.  This make sense since most are just nutrients.  Indeed, if you have a neurotransmitter issue, the first thing to consider is your nutrient status.  In other words, check to see if you are eating enough protein to provide all of the amino acids needed.  Also, check to see if you have enough B vitamins.  It is probably a good idea to check all of your nutrients!

What exactly do neurotransmitters do?

As stated above, your brain uses neurotransmitters to send signals to itself.  Therefore, they will cause the brain to have clear focus as well as make and store memories.  They will also be used to help control alertness and mood.  Finally, remember that neurotransmitters are used by the brain to send signals all over your body.  Thus, they will also be used to control muscular movements.   Without these nutrients functioning as neurotransmitters, the brain cannot function properly.
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Brain Cells with Synapse
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Without nutrients functioning as neurotransmitters you may:

  • feel like your brain is in a fog.
  • struggle with school work.
  • have to focus hard to do simple things.
  • feel sad and depressed.
  • be very forgetful.
  • be unable to send signals such as thirst.

When one is said to have a chemical imbalance in their brain, it is often just a matter of missing some of the nutrients that are called neurotransmitters.
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