Neurotransmitters regulate your mood, memory, sleep cycle, energy levels and libido and control your motivation, ability to focus, learn, remember and handle stress. According to research recently published in the scientific journal Advances in Psychology and Neuroscience, an estimated 86% of Americans have suboptimal levels of neurotransmitters. Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drugs (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage are cited as the major contributing factors.
Your brain is composed of nearly 100 billion neurons, which interact with each other using chemical messenger molecules called neurotransmitters. The most well-known neurotransmitters are Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, GABA and Acetylcholine, but there are over 100 known neurotransmitters and several thousands that have yet to be discovered!
Suboptimal levels of a neurotransmitter may result from:
- The synthesis/formation of the neurotransmitter being inhibited by insufficient raw materials being present (or by the presence of an inhibitory agent);
- Insufficient or ineffective receptors for the neurotransmitter; or
- Premature breakdown/lack of sufficient re-circulation of the neurotransmitter.