Hypothalamic digoxin, hemispheric chemical dominance, and spirituality

Int J Neurosci. 2003 Mar;113(3):383-93. doi: 10.1080/00207450390162155.


The isoprenoid pathway was assessed in atheistic and spiritually inclined individuals. The pathway was also assessed in individuals with differing hemispheric dominance to assess whether hemispheric dominance has a correlation with spiritual and atheistic tendency. HMG CoA reductase activity, serum digoxin, RBC membrane Na(+)-K+ ATPase activity, serum magnesium, and tyrosine/tryptophan catabolic patterns were assessed in spiritual/atheistic individuals and in those differing hemispheric dominance. In spiritually-inclined individuals, there was increased digoxin synthesis, decreased membrane Na(+)-K+ ATPase activity, increased tryptophan catabolites (serotonin, quinolinic acid, and nicotine), and decreased tyrosine catabolites (dopamine, noradrenaline, and morphine). The pattern in spiritually-inclined individuals correlated with right hemispheric chemical dominance. In atheistic individuals there was decreased digoxin synthesis, increased membrane Na(+)-K+ ATPase activity, decreased tryptophan catabolities (serotonin, quinolinic acid, and nicotine), and increased tyrosine catabolites (dopamine, noradrenaline, and morphine). This pattern in atheistic individuals correlated with that obtained in left hemispheric chemical dominance. Hemispheric chemical dominance and hypothalamic digoxin could regulate the predisposition to spirituality or atheism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Digoxin / blood
  • Digoxin / metabolism*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / enzymology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*
  • Spirituality*
  • Tryptophan / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / blood


  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates
  • Ubiquinone
  • Tyrosine
  • Digoxin
  • Tryptophan
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Magnesium