I have read various parts of this book, helped edit it during creation, and am generally familiar with what’s in it, but this is the first time that I’m actually just reading it cover-to-cover like a proper book. Even though I already know what’s in it – it’s still blowing my mind.
For instance, most modern anti-depressants work on your serotonin levels. They don’t actually provide any more serotonin, just make it so your body uses what you already have a little more efficiently. But your body *can* produce more serotonin, if given the right building blocks.
So on just one page (page 108, in the proof copy I’m reading – so probably pretty close to that in your copy) I’ve learned the following. Tryptophan is the only substance that your body can convert into serotonin. It can only convert tryptophan to serotonin with the help of Vitamin B-6. Your body also converts tryptophan to niacin (Vitamin B-3). So if you take a tryptophan supplement, you need to take it with Vitamin B-6 or your body won’t use it. And if you are also low on niacin, you body will use it for niacin first, and you won’t get the serotonin boost.
But guess what? FOODS that are high in tryptophan also are high in Vitamin B6 and niacin. So rather than trying to recreate the wheel with a complicated supplement regimen, you can just make it a point to include tryptophan rich foods in your daily diet (water fowl meat, beans, pumpkin seeds).
Every single page of this book has information like this, that’s so simple and straight-forward, but for some reason is not at all part of our cultural conversation about anxiety and depression. Like I said, mind-blowing.