Eating enough sea fish and outdoor activities affect the levels of brain chemical serotonin that plays a role in ameliorating the symptoms associated with a broad array of brain disorders, new research has found.
Many clinical disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression share as a unifying attribute low brain serotonin.
“In this paper we explain how serotonin is a critical modulator of executive function, impulse control, sensory gating, and pro-social behaviour,” said Rhonda Patrick from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI).
“We link serotonin production and function to vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, suggesting one way these important micro-nutrients help the brain function and affect the way we behave,” Patrick added.
Vitamin D is mostly produced by the skin when exposed to sun, and those who do not eat enough fish are likely to have marine omega-3 deficiencies.
The study explains that low vitamin D and marine omega-3 deficiencies interact with genetic pathways, such as the serotonin pathway, that are important for brain development, social cognition and decision-making, the researchers added.