As we continue to stack post after post articulating the importance of gut health, we can again link it to increased inflammation and inappropriate immune activation, leading to a host of destructive issues. Just this morning, we were speaking with a patient about acknowledging that the gut and optimal digestive function is truly the foundation to health. Without health and proper function at this level, the foundation for virtually all other function in the body is shaky at best. We could trace a path back from most symptoms and pathologies to the GI tract and microbiome. This would obviously be too voluminous for one post or conversation, so we do it here in digestible (pun intended) bites. Learning about this foundation and its far reaching capabilities will hopefully begin or continue to increase a foundational awareness and understanding of this concept and approach.
SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) are one of the most heavily prescribed anti-depressants. Despite the linkage between depression and inflammation being well documented for years now, we seem to continue to target the downstream alteration in mood altering neurotransmitter (serotonin) rather looking to discover and eliminate the source of the serotonin dampening inflammatory mediators (IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, etc.). As discussed above, these mediators re-route the conversion of the dietary amino acid and serotonin precursor, tryptophan to inflammatory acids (picolinic acid and quinolinic acid) that leads to aches and fatigue; the very opposite of what appropriate levels of serotonin can contribute to.
In reference to yesterday’s post:
SSRI’s also inhibit the enzyme we discussed and explained called diamine oxidase (DO), leading to increased levels of histamine. So now, if we simply resort to an SSRI rather than search and attenuate the inflammatory source(s), we not only have increased inflammatory acids that are associated with auto-immunity, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, but now we also add all of the issues we discussed yesterday that come with elevated levels of histamine. The elevation of histamine now potentially being contributed two-fold by way of the SSRI and damage to the gut wall where the enzyme that breaks down histamine, DO, is produced.
Back it up one step further to another previous post on gut health:
and we can see yet another mechanism by which that optimal intestinal integrity is intricate in preventing LPS triggered inflammation in the brain that can contribute to, if not outright cause anxiety, ADD/ADHD, brain fog, and of course, depression.
The linkages are there, and we go into great detail not to confuse or overwhelm, but to provide knowledge and hope. With that knowledge comes empowerment to move beyond the current status quo of reactive symptom care, and into an approach of identify and rectify health care; a truly exciting place to be.
It’s there for the taking.
Don’t be a passive bystander when it comes to your own health, and thus life.
Get proactive and stack the deck in your favor.
Go get it, my friends.