Posts tagged with "serotonin"

Wine illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

How wine affects our mood

Martin Luther said, “Beer is made by men, wine by God.” This is probably true as you don’t really see many people drinking wine publicly in the street as you see people drinking beer everywhere. Drinking wine is a ritual. You want it to be special. And you usually drink it with someone special. Unless you are having a really bad day and you are drinking alone while searching for free adult games to spend your alone time in a fun way.

But even when you drink it alone there is still a magic feeling to it. You drink wine when you want to celebrate something like an anniversary or promotion, when you go out on a date or maybe just because you feel like it. But usually, there is some background why you are drinking this heavenly liquid. You are happy and excited and you want to keep feeling that way or if you are trying to drown your sorrows, with wine you are doing it elegantly. No one will call you a drunkard if you drink wine. Wine is divine.

There are also many therapeutic effects besides the emotional ones. Antioxidants present in red wine are famously good for vascular health in general and they help with blood flow and circulation. This is one of the reasons you choose wine if you are wishing for your date to be successful. Healthy blood flow contributes to sexual arousal. You can thank histamine, tyramine, spermidine and serotonin for getting activated after just a few sips. Moderate quantity will increase your libido just enough to feel confident and appealing. In the worst-case scenario, if your date doesn’t share the same vibes you are feeling, you can always count on online games for your devices. This combo will surely help you get rid of any tension and it will make your life feel lighter. 

If you want to merge an exotic adventure with wine drinking, there is an underwater wine cellar paradise on the bottom of the Adriatic sea waiting for you to get your hands on the bottle of your choice. It is located in Croatia, on the Peljesac peninsula. They make premium wines, bottle them and preserve them in amphoras they put on the sea bottom. You scuba dive in full equipment and search for your own amphora somewhere on the sunken boat. That’s one way of having a hell of a Mediterranean date!

You may have heard about buchette del vino, aka wine windows that are getting popular once again in Florence, Italy. These are holes in fences big enough for a bottle, used to safely sell bottles of wine to thirsty passengers, with human contact reduced to the minimum. They were first introduced in the XVI century when Cosimo I de’ Medici (Grand Duke of Tuscany) decreed that people could sell wine from their cellars and avoid taxes by direct sale, evading any middlemen. The windows continued their use later in the 1630s when northern Italy faced the plague outbreak. 

As 2020 has affected all of us in different ways, many of us reached for wine consolation and luckily some clever people thought of reinventing the use for these windows and safely hand us the very needed fluid solace. You can also get ice cream, coffee or Aperol Spritz from these windows. But nothing beats the original!

Even Alexander Fleming acknowledged that penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy. And cheers to that!

Avoid Clinical Entrepreneurial Syndrome

Whether you are running your own business as an entrepreneur – or running someone else’s business as an executive – there is an enormous amount of demand on your resources. You are likely to be playing the role of project manager, human resources liaison, accountant, and marketing specialist. You are the one who gets called on to extinguish fires as well as create new opportunities. All this and more, while remaining positive and energetic.

As enthusiastic as you may be about keeping the business afloat, it’s a fact that humans have a limited amount of resources available. When the demands upon us begin to exceed the energy levels that we have, we experience stress. This feeling is akin to a form of panic – and has a way of creeping into our daily operations. It lies under the surface of our consciousness, and slowly eats away at our resolve. In small doses, it can help us to accomplish great things. In large doses, and if left unaddressed, it can result in our physical and mental decline.

Stress Leads To Burnout

This doesn’t happen overnight. Those who are aware of the possibility of burnout may be able to feel it developing. Burnout is the eventual result of unresolved stress, and it is a warning sign from the mind and body that enough is enough. It is the point at which we decide that we can no longer perform the job functions in which we once took pride. We may begin to avoid work, produce lower quality work, or suddenly quit the job altogether.

The signs of stress which contribute to burnout include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, changes in weight, problems with digestion, becoming forgetful, and inability to concentrate. If you notice that these symptoms are becoming part of your daily experience, take it as a sign that something needs to change. If you aren’t able to change your workload in the face of stress, look into ways of changing your behaviors during your valuable time off. Failure to do so can mean the end of your venture as a successful business manager.

Avoid Burnout Through Being Proactive

As the stress that leads to burnout tends to attack us on three fronts – physical, cognitive, and emotional – the following are three ways to mitigate its negative effects.

Combat Stress on the Physical Level

The adrenaline and cortisol that the body produces in response to stress are responsible for activating our flight-or-fight response. These hormones prepare our bodies for action. When we fail to use this energy in an active way, it can turn on us and wreak havoc with our physical health. To disseminate that energy in a way that is best for the body, try engaging in similar actions as experienced in emergency situations – like going for a run or boxing it out at the gym.

Master Stress on the Cognitive Level

Much of what we interpret as being stressful depends on our perspective. What we have defined as our values and aspirations can fuel our sense of purpose, and that purpose can become an obsession. If we have tied our sense of self-esteem into our occupational achievements, we can become overwhelmed with producing results. To reduce that stress, which we experience over job demands and deadlines, we need to create a mental space where we are able to separate from those types of thoughts. Consider finding mental relief through engaging in meditation or mindfulness techniques on a daily basis. Venting that stress through consulting with a good therapist each week is another possibility.

Diminish Stress on the Emotional Level

Human beings need to have fun. When we engage in pleasurable activities, our body responds through releasing endorphins such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Unlike the urgent feelings which stress hormones produce, these types of natural chemicals result in our feeling happy, calm, and content. Keep in mind that it is unlikely that you will be able to remove all the stress associated with running a business by having fun. But you can counteract some of it by making sure to schedule time in your busy calendar for engagement in recreational activities.

About Dr. Jeff Nalin

Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D is an award-winning licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Founder and Chief Clinical Director at Paradigm Malibu Treatment Center. The center has locations in both Malibu and San Francisco.

Why Whole Grain?

Whole grain can contribute to health by changing intestinal serotonin production

Adults consuming whole grain rye have lower plasma serotonin levels than people eating low-fibre wheat bread, according to a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In the study, the consumption of cereal fibre from rye or wheat was also found to reduce serotonin levels in the colon of mice. In light of the results, the health benefits of whole grain cereals may be linked, at least in part, to the alteration of serotonin production in the intestines, where the majority of the body’s serotonin is produced. The results of were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The consumption of whole grain cereals has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. There may be effects on bioactive compounds contained in whole grains, phytochemicals and fibres from which different metabolites are produced by intestinal bacteria.

The new study explored how the consumption of wholegrain rye modulates concentrations of different metabolites in the bloodstream. The study employed untargeted metabolite profiling, also known as metabolomics, which can simultaneously detect numerous metabolites, including those previously unknown.

For the first four weeks of the study, the participants ate 6 to 10 slices a day of low-fibre wheat bread, and then another four weeks the same amount of wholegrain rye bread or wheat bread supplemented with rye fibre. Otherwise, they didn’t change their diet. At the end of both periods, they gave blood samples, which were analysed by a combination of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Their plasma metabolite profiles between the different diet periods were then compared.


The consumption of wholegrain rye led to, among other things, significantly lower serotonin concentrations when compared to consumption of low-fibre wheat bread. The researchers also tested in mice whether the addition of cereal fibre to the diet changes serotonin production in the intestine. The diet of the mice was supplemented for nine weeks with rye bran, wheat bran or cellulose flour. The mice receiving rye or wheat bran had significantly lower serotonin in their colon. For additional information on supplements and how they can modify diets go to website


Serotonin is best known as a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, serotonin produced by the intestines remains separated from the brain, serving various peripheral functions including modulation of gut’s motility. Increased blood serotonin has also been associated with high blood glucose levels.

“Whole grain, on the other hand, is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, and on the basis of these new results, the effect could at least partly be due to a decrease in serotonin levels,” says Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland.

The researchers are also interested in the association of serotonin with colorectal cancer.
“Some recent studies have found cancer patients to have higher plasma serotonin levels than healthy controls,” Scientist Pekka Keski-Rahkonen from IARC adds.

The consumption of wholegrain rye bread was also associated with lower plasma concentrations of taurine, glycerophosphocholine and two endogenous glycerophospholipids. In addition, the researchers identified 15 rye phytochemicals whose levels in the bloodstream increased with the consumption of rye fibre.