More than you may think, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Seratonin, the neurotransmitter that is produced in the body to regulate mood, appetite and sleep has been linked to bone growth. Drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft regulate seratonin to act as mood stabilizers.
95% of seratonin production occurs in the gut where until recently, it was thought to act primarily on digestion. However, a new study published in the November 28 issue of the journal Cell found seratonin actually signals cells in the skeleton to slow the production of new bone. Osteoporosis or osteopenia occur when new bone is not being produced as fast as the existing bone is being absorbed.
This study shows how excessive seratonin could inhibit the growth of new bone tissue. The types of osteoporosis linked to seratonin production in this study are both very rare and severe. However, this study opens up an entirely new area of research in the prevention of more common forms of osteoporosis.
So what does osteoporosis have to do with a good night’s sleep? The supplements that many people take to sleep better, such as 5-HTP or tryptophan may be affecting the health of your bones. Consult with your physician to make sure that you are not inadvertantly increasing the progression of osteoporosis with these common supplements.