Genetics Related to Serotonin Synthesis, Reuptake, and Metabolism

Ep 73
Genetics Related to Serotonin Synthesis, Reuptake, and Metabolism In this episode of ReInvent Healthcare, we zero in on the brain and the genetics related to serotonin synthesis together with my special guest, Dr. Ben Lynch. Dr. Ben Lynch is the best-selling author of Dirty Genes and the President of Seeking Health, a company that helps educate health professionals on how to overcome genetic dysfunction.


Key Genes in Serotonin Synthesis
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mood, behavior, and various physiological processes. Practitioners learning about important genes related to serotonin synthesis should focus on genes such as TPH1 and TPH2, which encode the enzymes tryptophan hydroxylase 1 and 2, respectively. These enzymes are responsible for converting the amino acid tryptophan into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a precursor molecule in serotonin synthesis. TPH1 is primarily expressed in peripheral tissues, while TPH2 is predominantly found in the brain.

Genes Involved in Serotonin Reuptake
Serotonin reuptake transporters are proteins that remove serotonin from the synaptic cleft, terminating its signaling and regulating serotonin levels. The serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), also known as the serotonin transporter or SERT gene, is a crucial gene in this process. Variations in the SLC6A4 gene, such as the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, have been associated with altered serotonin reuptake efficiency and have been implicated in various psychiatric disorders and individual differences in emotional and behavioral traits.

Understanding Serotonin Metabolism
After serotonin is released into the synaptic cleft, it undergoes degradation by the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). Two forms of MAO, MAOA and MAOB, are responsible for metabolizing serotonin. Practitioners should consider these genes when studying serotonin metabolism. Variations in the MAOA gene have been linked to altered enzyme activity and have been associated with aggression and impulsive behavior. Understanding the genetic factors influencing serotonin metabolism and the nutrient cofactors that are necessary for metabolism can provide insights into lifestyle factors and nutrients that can assist clients in managing their care.


Dr. Ben Lynch

ReInvent Healthcare

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Ritamarie Loscalzo

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is a best-selling author and speaker known for her extensive knowledge, infectious energy, and inspirational message that encourages individuals to become their own best health advocate. She is an internationally recognized nutrition and health authority who specializes in using the wisdom of nature to restore hormone balance with a special emphasis on thyroid, adrenal and insulin imbalances. She founded the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology to empower health and nutrition practitioners to get to the root cause of health concerns by using functional assessments and natural therapeutics to balance the endocrine system, the body's master controller.

Dr. Ritamarie is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic with Certification in Acupuncture and is a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board. She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with a Master’s in Human Nutrition, has completed a 2-year, 500-hour Herbal Medicine Program at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies and has a master's degree in Computer Science, which contributes to her skills as an ace problem solver.