In the November 26, 2008 issue of Cell, The Columbia University Medical Center research group, led by Gerard Karsenty, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, has discovered a unique link between bone growth and serotonin levels. In the past, the main focus of serotonin research was to study its effects on mood, sleep, and appetite, in addition to other brain functions which utilize approximately 5 percent of the body’s serotonin.

Researchers have known for a few years now that the other 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is produced in the duodenum, a part of the small intestine. It was assumed that the serotonin there was involved with digestion. A gene called Lrp5 was found to regulate serotonin production and utilization in the gut. To the surprise of researchers, they found that by turning the production of serotonin on and off, they could control bone formation in menopausal mice. It seems that serotonin signals bone cells to slow production of new bone. Turning off serotonin production in the small intestine, prevents osteoporosis in the mice experiencing menopause. Researchers hope to use this model to prevent and treat osteoporosis in people in the future.

This is proof positive that the conditions in your digestive tract should be optimum at all times. Everything that is put into your mouth affects your digestive tract in some way – good or bad. If you are chronically dehydrated or eat a predominantly acidic diet, the neutral terrain of your body cells becomes more acidic and they cannot perform properly. Body acids affect genetic material, including Lrp5. Our bodies are designed to eat a predominantly vegetable based diet with small, occasional portions of animal protein. We are also designed to drink alkaline, ionized water like what we see from remote, non-polluted mountain streams.

By including a variety of raw vegetables, nuts and seeds to your diet you are giving your body amino acids and enzymes to function optimally. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, and is contained in the following foods: dairy products – milk, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt; soy products – tofu, soy milk, soybean nuts, edamame beans; seafood; meats; poultry, particularly turkey; whole grains; beans; rice; hummus and garbanzo beans; lentils; hazelnuts; peanuts; eggs; sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

If you drink Cerra alkaline, ionized water, your body will hydrate better and will tend to be closer to neutral. This prevents the metabolic acids from stimulating serotonin production to pull mineral from your bones, organs and teeth to buffer that acidity.

If you have osteoporosis or a familial tendency towards it, check with your doctor or dietician regarding your diet. With this new research, it is hoped to have a better understanding of the dynamics that cause osteoporosis and how to prevent it.

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Posted in Digestion

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