5-HT in walnut & plantain (核桃仁和羊角香蕉) ease anxiety and insomnia, promote satisfaction feeling and better cardiometabolic health

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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a vasoconstrictor, hypotensive agent and neurotransmitter, and plays a major role in regulating human behaviors.

血清素 (serotonin) 是大脑的神经传导物质, 具有调控情绪, 记忆, 睡眠, 行为和食欲等功能。血清素不足, 人会有易怒, 焦虑, 疲劳等症状。核桃仁和羊角香蕉是天然食物中含有血清素最高的
5-HT is believed to be a contributor to good sleep, feelings of well-being and happiness. It was found that walnut, plantain banana and some marines are the best natural sources for 5-HT supplement.

Low levels of serotonin is associated with disorders and problems:
  1. Depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and suicide
  2. Bad mood, aggression, migraine, cluster headache, autism and epilepsy
  3. Psychosis, tinnitus, insomnia, memory and learning problems
  4. Body temperature control, Parkinson's disease
  5. Eating disorder, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  6. Cardiovascular, muscle contraction and endocrine problems
5-HT (1B/1D) agonists have been used for the treatments of cluster headache, migraine, bipolar disorder and aggressiveness. During cluster headache attack, whole blood histamine levels rise significantly, whereas the plasma serotonin levels show no evident elevation. During migraine, plasma serotonin levels fall significantly.
Serotonin has a strong connection with the severity of autistic symptoms. Serotonin level does not affect all autism symptoms, but exert influence on certain behaviors such as self-harm or withdrawal.

In humans randomized to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) vs. placebo for the treatment of major depressive episodes, the incidence of epileptic seizures was significantly lower among those treated with the antidepressants.

5-HT(1B/1D) antagonists have been proposed as a new approach for more efficient and/or fast-acting antidepressant drugs. 5-HT(1B/1D) receptors may be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). Common antidepressant medications known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), such as Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, which are designed to boost serotonin levels, help the production of new brain cells, and ease depression.
Cooked Plantain

Plantain have the highest natural serotonin concentration expressed in µg/g (micrograms/gram) among all vegetables and fruits:
  1. Plantain                 30.3 +/- 7.5 µg/g
  2. Pineapple                   17.0 +/- 5.1
  3. Banana                       15.0 +/- 2.4
  4. Kiwi fruit                      5.8 +/- 0.9
  5. Plums                          4.7 +/- 0.8
  6. Tomatoes                    3.2 +/- 0.6
Nuts in walnut and hickory families have the highest serotonin concentrations among seeds:
  1. Butternuts                 398 +/- 90 µg/g
  2. Black walnuts            304 +/- 46
  3. Hickory nuts              143 +/- 23
  4. Mockernut                  67 +/- 13
  5. English walnuts         87 +/- 20
  6. Pecans                       29 +/- 4
  7. Sweet pignuts            25 +/- 8
Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter derived from tryptophan. Serotonin is widespread alkaloid in terrestrial and marine organisms, also found in blood and other tissues, primarily exists in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of human and other animals.

Adverse effects: The LD50 (mouse, oral) of serotonin is 60 mg/kg. It has experimental, reproductive and teratogenic effects. Extremely high levels of serotonin can cause serotonin syndrome, psychosis, aggression, stroke and death.

Beneficial effects of walnut consumption on human health: role of micronutrients:
  1. Nuts in general and walnuts in particular are in the limelight for the association of their consumption with improved health outcomes.
  2. Walnuts have an optimal composition in bioactive nutrients and recent clinical and experimental studies have uncovered a number of beneficial effects of walnut micronutrients. 
  3. Alpha-linolenic acid, a critical walnut component, is metabolized into bioactive oxylipins, has been shown to protect microglial cells from inflammation, and is associated with lower fatal myocardial infarction rates through a putative antiarrhythmic effect.
  4. Phytosterols relate to the cholesterol-lowering effect of nut consumption.
  5. Non-sodium minerals are associated with better cardiometabolic health.
  6. Walnut phyto-melatonin has anticancer effects that are shared by the main walnut polyphenols and their metabolites, ellagitannins and urolithins, respectively.
References:
Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2011, Apr; 15(2):108-17
Exp Brain Res. 2013 Oct;230(4):555-68
Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Oct; 42(4):639-43.
Neurosci Lett. 2007 May 11;418(1):13-7
Epilepsia. 2006 Feb;47(2):240-6
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Jul;1292(1):21-31
Epilepsia. 2013 Mar;54 Suppl 1:3-12
Epilepsia. 2013 Mar;54 Suppl 1:13-8
Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Mar;26(3):261-5
Arch Neurol. 1971;25(3):225-231
Walnut photo by Walter Grassroot and Simplewxp
Plantain banana photo by Rhododendrites and Kondah
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 2018 Nov;21(6):498-504


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