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Vitamin D and DHA Needed for Serotonin, Mood, and Impulse Control

Wellness Resources


Do you ever have trouble making decisions? What about poor impulse control or frequently reaching for short-term gratification? How about feeling irritable and not wanting to be around your friends? These behaviors and feelings are affected by your vitamin D and omega-3 oil status as these nutrients are essential for neurotransmitter function like serotonin in your brain. Learn how critical these nutrients are for mood and behavioral actions.


Serotonin and Mood


Plentiful serotonin levels in healthy individuals are involved with pleasant, joyful, cooperative/helpful mood and attributes. Serotonin helps you focus on long-term plans and be able to delay immediate gratification impulses.


As serotonin levels drop there is a decline in positive mood and behaviors. This can lead you to be less sociable and feel irritable, angry or aggressive, quarrelsome, seek harmful behaviors, be impulsive, and have worsening of mood.


Serotonin levels in your brain are affected by several things, especially vitamin D and omega-3 fish oils. Dr. Bruce Ames and others detail these powerful effects and connections in their research entitled “Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2”. Continue reading to learn more!


Vitamin D


Vitamin D is a vitamin and hormone that controls over 900 genes, including TPH2 and TPH1. These genes are responsible for converting the amino acid tryptophan into the neurotransmitter serotonin. This action occurs at the site of a vitamin D response element (VDRE) in the brain and other tissues.


In order for gene activation and serotonin production to occur, it requires adequate vitamin D. If you have inadequate vitamin D levels, it hinders the natural production of serotonin in your brain as gene activation is impaired.


Low vitamin D status is common. Even with vitamin D fortified foods, many individuals simply do not consume enough vitamin D or obtain it from daily sunshine exposure. Indoor lifestyles, sunscreen use, darker skin tones, and living in the upper northern or lower southern latitudes further away from the equator affects your ability to make vitamin D. You must know if your vitamin D status is adequate.


More information about vitamin D may be found in the articles:


Vitamin D and Your Immune System – Are You Getting Enough?


New Discoveries Highlight the Importance of Vitamin D


Omega-3 Oils


Along with vitamin D, your brain needs significant amounts of omega-3 oils every day for function. The best food sources include cold-water fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines, etc. which provide omega-3 oils EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are required for how your brain can utilize serotonin as well as many other bodily functions.


Fish however often are contaminated with heavy metals, solvents, or other toxins because of pollution. To avoid these concerns, use a high quality DHA and EPA supplement that has undergone rigorous testing and toxin removal. Daily DHA and Leptinal are the natural triglyceride forms of fish oil. The oils are molecularly distilled which removes all harmful toxins without high heat and solvents. They are third-party tested for quality. If they