Cacao - Does it contain serotonin and is it safe to use if you're taking an anti depressant?

There is a common misperception that cacao contains serotonin and that it will interfere with SSRIs.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drugs that are typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. The exact mechanism of action of SSRIs is unknown. The efficacy of SSRIs in mild or moderate cases of depression has been disputed and may be outweighed by side effects.

Serotonin is not found in foods, but tryptophan is.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of protein. It is also a precursor to serotonin, the hormone melatonin and B3 (niacin). Foods like eggs, salmon, nuts, spinach, bananas, soy products, milk, poultry and cacao contain tryptophan. Cacao also contains anandamide, a natural euphoric compound. This means that cacao can act as a mood enhancer and unlike traditional drugs, it is without side effects.

Cacao DOES NOT contain serotonin. Nor does any other food. In theory, certain whole foods could boost our natural levels of serotonin. Whether or not these foods interfere with SSRIs still remains a mystery.

I'm inclined to side with Mother Nature and trust the nourishing and restorative effects of cacao.

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