Get Rid of Your Depression By Boosting Serotonin Levels

I’m not interested in lengthening your lifespan. I want to increase your “health span”… the length of time you feel energized and ready to take on the world.

And an important part of your “health span” is your emotional well-being.

The brain chemical serotonin plays a big part in keeping you emotionally balanced. That’s why it’s called the “happy hormone.”


What Does Serotonin Levels Affect?

Serotonin does a lot more than keep you in a good mood. Your serotonin levels affect your:

  • Energy levels
  • Sex drive
  • Memory
  • Weight and appetite
  • Sleep

Low Serotonin Levels Can Cause Depression

It’s no surprise that depression has been linked with low serotonin levels. And mainstream doctors are quick to prescribe antidepressants to fix the problem. Usually SSRIs.

Despite doctors’ constant reassurances that they’re safe, evidence proves the opposite.

What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressants?

One study found that people who took SSRIs had a 40-50% increased risk of developing bleeding in the brain. Another found that the carotid arteries of men taking SSRIs were 5% thicker than those who don’t. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.1,2

And there are other side effects… like agitation, nausea and insomnia, to name a few.

Can Antidepressants’ Side Effects Cause ED?

But the biggest complaint I hear from my patients who’ve been taking antidepressants is that they have no libido. And for men, there are other problems. Like trouble maintaining their erections and their ability to orgasm.


Studies show that drugs such as SSRIs cause sexual dysfunction in between 58-73% of people who take them. And the problem is more common in men.3

It’s a double whammy, because depression is a libido killer, too. And an unfulfilling sex life can lead to further depression.

How to Increase Serotonin Levels And Get In The Mood?

When It Comes to Sex, Your Mood Matters!

Your brain is your most important sex organ. And if your brain isn’t “turned on” — how can you expect the rest of your body to get turned on?

You can’t.

Maintaining healthy serotonin levels in your brain helps keep you feeling happy and confident. Meaning you’re more likely to be “in the mood” around your partner.

There’s another important role that serotonin plays when it comes to your sex life.

It’s a critical component of your libido called “resolution.” It’s the joy and intimacy you feel after having sex.

When your serotonin levels are too low, you’re less likely to feel exhilarated and close to your partner after sex. And that sets the stage for decreased sexual desire going forward.

African Power Plant Boosts Serotonin

So how can you boost your “feel good hormone,” improve your mood AND keep your sex life from fizzling?

A wild African plant just might be the answer.

It’s called Griffonia simplicifolia. It’s a woody, climbing shrub that grows mainly in West Africa, where the indigenous herbalists call it “kajya.”


Its seeds are the world’s most powerful producers of 5-HTP, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in your brain.

In fact, kajya is one of the world’s only natural sources of 5-HTP.

The Effects Of The African Plant

Studies prove its effectiveness for treating mild to moderate depression.4

I’ve had great success treating my patients with 5-HTP. I usually start them on a 20 mcg dose, and then gradually increase the dose to between 50-100 mcg, depending on how they’re feeling.

But taking a 5-HTP supplement isn’t the only way to increase your serotonin.

How To Boost Your Serotonin Levels Fast

Here are a few other things you can do:

  1. Increase serotonin with exercise: Exert yourself. Exercise gets your heart pumping, increasing circulation to your brain. And it’s proven to not only boost serotonin, but endorphins, too. Studies have also shown that exercise does wonders for your sex life. For men, it’s proven to increase the frequency of sex, the duration and the percentage of satisfying orgasms.


You’ll get the best results with a workout like my PACE program. And one of the great things about PACE is that it works for people of all fitness levels.

  1. Increase serotonin with vitamins: Get your D3. Research shows that vitamin D3 can boost serotonin up to 30%.5 I recommend getting 8,000 IUs daily. The best way to get enough D3 is a combination of sunshine, foods and supplements. Here’s how:


  • Get out in the midday sun for at least 10-15 minutes every day. And make sure to expose parts of your body that are usually covered.
  • Increase serotonin with food: Eat foods rich in D3, like cooked wild salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna in oil.


  • Take a supplement of vitamin D3 called cholecalciferol. I suggest 2,000 IUs daily, taken in the morning.
  1. Get a massage. Massage increases serotonin and dopamine — another one of your body’s feel-good chemicals — and decreases the stress hormone cortisol. I believe so strongly in the healing power of massage that I offer it as one of the wellness treatments at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine.


To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1 Hackam, Daniel G, et al. “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and brain hemorrhage,” Neurology, 2012; vol. 79 no. 18: 1862-1865
2. “Antidepressants Linked to Thicker Arteries,” Emory University (, April 4, 2011
3. Higgins, Agnes, et al. “Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction: impact, effects, and treatment,” Drug Health: Patient Saf. 2010; 2: 141-150
4. Birdsall, Timothy C. “5-Hydroxytryptophan: A Clinically-Effective Serotonin Precursor,” Alternative Medicine Review, 1998
5. P. Patrick, B. N. Ames. “Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism.” The FASEB Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-246546