August 17, 2017
New Dietary Guidelines
for Neurotransmitter Testing

It is well established that neurotransmitters are synthesized from amino acids found in our diet. For this reason, it would make sense that our diets can have an impact on things like mood, energy, and motivation. In fact, some patients may reach for carbohydrate rich foods, dense in naturally occurring serotonin precursors, to improve mood. While at the same time, obese patients with depression are often prescribed medications meant to raise serotonin levels as optimizing serotonin can improve mood and reduce the number of unwanted calories throughout a day. In truth, not all foods that affect neurotransmitter levels are unhealthy, as some nuts and even bananas can increase neurotransmitter levels and may be a very real part of a patient’s unknowing self-medication.

As the understanding of diet and its impact on neurotransmitter levels continues to grow, it may not surprise you that certain foods could interfere with neurotransmitter testing. Recently, Labrix has updated our neurotransmitter collection guidelines to include a list of foods that can falsely elevate neurotransmitter levels. Per our collection guidelines for neurotransmitters these foods include:

• Avocados
• Eggplant
• Tomatoes
• Bananas
• Melons
• Pineapple
• Grapefruits
• Plums
• Nuts / nut butters

As we strive to measure total body neurotransmitters, these foods may cloud the picture, skew results, and potentially impact treatment protocols. In fact, four hours after the consumption of these foods, solely food-induced elevations in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine and epinephrine have been observed, with some elevations lasting up to 16 hours. While avoidance of these foods maybe an inconvenience to patients, think of it like a fasting lab draw for glucose. If a patient wakes up and has a pastry for breakfast before having their blood drawn, they may falsely appear to have increased glucose levels. The same may be true with the above-mentioned foods and neurotransmitter levels. It’s best to avoid these interfering factors to get the most accurate results, which will then lead to the most appropriate and therapeutic treatment plan.

The NeuroBasic panel (Serotonin, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, glutamate) can illuminate frank imbalance in neurotransmitter levels and offer insight into a patient’s pattern of self-medication. For complete neurotransmitter collection guidelines, please visit

  • Jong, W. H., Post, W. J., Kerstens, M. N., Vries, E. G., & Kema, I. P. (2010). Elevated Urinary Free and Deconjugated Catecholamines after Consumption of a Catecholamine-Rich Diet. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,95(6), 2851-2855. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-2589.
  • Kema IP, Schellings AM, Meiborg G, Hoppenbrouwers CJ, Muskiet FA. Influence of a serotonin- and dopamine-rich diet on platelet serotonin content and urinary excretion of biogenic amines and their metabolites. Clin Chem. 1992 Sep;38(9):1730-6.
  • 3. Wurtman, R. J., & Wurtman, J. J. (1995). Brain Serotonin, Carbohydrate-Craving, Obesity and Depression. Obesity Research,3(S4). doi:10.1002/j.1550-8528.1995.tb00215.x

All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.


Labrix Core Training

Join the hundreds of practitioners who have attended Labrix live training events and learn more about these exciting opportunities directly from a Labrix attendee and Dr. Jay Mead, Medical Director and co-founder of Labrix.

Core Training

Chicago: October 14, 2017

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Labrix Advanced
Las Vegas, NV
February 9-11, 2018

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Interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances are affecting your patient’s health?Register today for the Labrix Advanced Workshop to lock in your early bird discount price of $229, a savings of $50! Includes a Free NeuroAdrenal Panel (Value $215).

Portland, OR
September 9, 2017

Stop by the Labrix booth at the NAEM conference next month, and learn more about Labrix hormone and neurotransmitter testing.

Dallas, TX
September 11-15, 2017

Labrix will be in Dallas, Texas for the IFM conference next month, where Labrix founders Dr. Jay Mead and Dr. Erin Lommen will be speaking. Stop by the Doctor's Data booth and talk with our National Sales Manager, Heather Cadwallader, and learn more about what's new with Labrix.

San Juan, PR
September 14-16, 2017

Labrix founder, Dr. Erin Lommen, will be flying to beautiful San Juan, to speak at the ACAM conference in mid September. Come take in the sunshine and learn more about adrenal health and minimizing inflammation.