Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Placentas Discovered to Produce Serotonin

Researchers have discovered yet another fascinating fact about what an incredible organ the placenta is. For the past 60 years, researchers have theorized that the maternal blood supply is responsible for supplying the fetus with serotonin. It has now been discovered that the placenta actually synthesizes or produces serotonin to directly supply to the fetus itself.

This is important because the placenta has been viewed by researchers as a passive organ, meaning it acts as a gateway between mother and child only, but now it is not simply a passive gateway, it can create or synthesize substances on its own! This gives the placenta considerable influence over the developmental capabilities of the fetus.

Serotonin has a significant impact of the well being of a human, but it is also linked to brain, cardiac, and pancreas development. The fact that the placenta supplies a fetus with serotonin and not the mother's own blood supply, makes having a healthy placenta of even greater importance. I love that this is pointed out by the researchers. Low serotonin during fetal development can set a child up for all types of brain disorders later in life including depressions, anxiety disorders, learning and behavior disorders, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Keeping a healthy placenta is extremely important and in a near future post, I will include ways to do that. It all starts with nutrition.

I love that the more we learn about the placenta, the more fascinating and useful it becomes. One thing is for certain, it isn't just obsolete medical waste.


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