Serotonin Role in The Brain and The Body

serotonin happines hormone

What is Serotonin and Why is It Called The Hormone of Happiness?

Serotonin or (5-HT) is a natural chemical in the brain and body that acts as a neurotransmitter and hormone.

He plays many roles in regulating mood, memory, sleep, digestion and more.

Serotonin production is the result of the internal biochemical metabolism or degradation of the amino acid L-tryptophan. The result of this breakdown is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is a direct chemical precursor to serotonin.

Precursor (sometimes used as a precursor) in organic chemistry – a substance, a chemical compound that reacts to produce another chemical compound

Serotonin, made from 5-HTP, is used by the body for a variety of important purposes, including digestive control and mood. Read more about 5-HTP Consumption, Effect, Benefit


Where is Serotonin Made?

Serotonin is produced in both the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.

Approximately 85% of the body’s serotonin is in the gut and platelets in the blood. The remaining supply is located in the central nervous system.

In the gastrointestinal tract, 5-HT is used in part as a peristalsis or inadequate contraction / movement and in the functioning of our digestive systems.

Peristalsis is the rhythmic annular contraction of the smooth muscle of the tubular organ walls, pushing the contents of the organs.

In the central nervous system, 5-HT is used as a neurotransmitter, improving communication between neurons. It is an inhibitory neurochemical property, which means that it helps prevent neurons from over-excitement by stimulating a sense of calm, relaxation and happiness.

The brain needs inhibitory neurotransmitters to balance the effects of excitatory neurotransmission on chemicals such as dopamine, noradrenaline, acetylcholine, and glutamate.

Serotonin is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier if it is ingested or produced elsewhere in the body. Still, a lot of 5-HT is needed for brain function. The 5-HT precursors are L-tryptophan and 5-HTP.


Tryptophan and 5-HTP

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It is considered essential because it cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained through diet or nutritional supplements. Tryptophan travels from the food or dietary supplement to the liver where it is broken down by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase to 5-HTP and other metabolites including niacin (vitamin B3).

5-HTP travels through the bloodstream to the brain, crossing the blood-brain barrier that separates blood from the brain and enters the brain tissue. In the brain, 5-HTP is converted into 5-HT by the glandular gland.

5-HTP is commonly used as a serotonin-raising supplement. Tryptophan supplements are also used, but some people prefer to take 5-HTP as a step to further convert metabolism to 5-HT (which may mean fewer side effects for some people) and often work faster in the body.


Why Does the Human Body Use Serotonin?

As a neurotransmitter, serotonin regulates the intensity of the synaptic signal. 5-HT plays various other important roles affecting both bodily and psychological functioning.

Here’s a partial list of how serotonin works in the body:

  • Adjustment of mood, appetite, digestion, social behavior, libido, sleep and memory
  • A supporting role in breast milk production
  • Used to metabolize bone
  • Maintains cardiovascular efficiency
  • Helps in liver regeneration
  • Necessary for efficient cell division

Serotonin To Reduce Symptoms Of Depression

Cases of depression, anxiety, and various other mental conditions are highly associated with hormone and / or neurotransmitter imbalances. There is no single known cause for depression.

Many factors affect a particular person and can lead to depression. These factors may include:

  • Age of person
  • General health
  • Choosing a diet
  • Activity Levels
  • Geographic Location
  • Other factors ..

In some cases, low levels of serotonin are associated with depression. It is not yet clear whether depression causes a decrease in serotonin levels or if depression is already caused by low serotonin levels.

In any case, low levels of 5-HT are a very common occurrence among individuals with depression.

Because 5-HT cannot be directly supplemented, a study was conducted with 5-HTP as a way to increase serotonin levels in the brain. The Natural Medicines Database has evaluated 5-HTP as a potentially effective dietary supplement in depression. Some studies have suggested that the use of 5-HTP may be similar to some common antidepressant medications.


5-HTP Research

In one study, one group of patients received 150-400 mg 5-HTP daily and the other group received 20-40 mg fluoxetine (Prozac). The study lasted eight sawith doses of 5-HTP or fluoxetine starting at lower doses and gradually increasing to the highest dose.

At the end of the study, 5-HTP was found to have a similar effect in reducing depressive symptoms as fluoxetine. Other studies have shown similar results and found that 5-HTP may be similar to the improvement in depressive symptoms with fluvoxam (Luvox) or imipramine (tofranil).

Other studies have investigated the use of 5-HTP as adjunctive therapy to other conventional antidepressants. One study showed that 300 mg 5-HTP in combination with 50 mg trisilicontain antidepressant chlorimipramine significantly reduced the symptoms of depression in patients receiving chlorimipramine alone.

More research is needed to elucidate the effects of 5-HTP, reduce the symptoms of depression, and increase serotonin levels in the brain. Currently, 5-HTP is not approved by the FDA as a drug for the prevention or treatment of depression.


How to Increase Serotonin Levels in the Body?

With the prevalence of antidepressants such as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and SSRIs (selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors), there is a great need for natural methods to increase serotonin. While there are many successful treatments using basic medicines, these medications also have a list of potential side effects.

People are looking for ways to naturally increase their 5-HT activity in the brain. These methods include:

Diet Changes: There are no foods that directly contain serotonin, but there are foods that provide your body with much more. These are foods high in the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. Read the article L-Tryptophan – What It Is ? to find out which foods contain the highest amount of this amino acid.

Increase your activity level: There is no doubt about the effectiveness of exercise as a global health boost.

Exercise has not been shown to increase serotonin levels, but many times it has been shown that exercise improves mood and significantly reduces depression.

In fact, many studies have concluded that physical activity alone is as effective as medication and / or psychotherapy as a treatment for depression. In addition, training with L-tryptophan supplementation has been reported to allow more of this amino acid to cross the blood-brain barrier.

It is caused by exercise-induced insulin release, which breaks down other amino acids but not tryptophan, which means that this important precursor crosses the blood-brain barrier better.


Serotonin Supplements

5-HTP Serotonin Supplements: 5-HTP supplements are made from natural sources such as Griffonia simplicifolia from West Africa. When you increase the amount of 5-HTP in your system, the nutrients needed for serotonin synthesis are readily available.

Talk to your doctor about using 5-HTP supplements. Your doctor will be able to determine the best dose and needs for your personal physiology, as well as determine if any side effects or interactions with existing medications or supplements are possible.

  1. Morrissette DA, Stahl SM. Modulating the serotonin system in the treatment of major depressive disorder. CNS Spectr. 2014
  2. Howell LL, Cunningham KA. Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor interactions with dopamine function: implications for therapeutics in cocaine use disorder. Pharmacol Rev. 2015
  3. Tang H, McGowan OO, Reynolds GP. Polymorphisms of serotonin neurotransmission and their effects on antipsychotic drug action. Pharmacogenomics. 2014
  4. Watts SW. Serotonin and sensory nerves: meeting in the cardiovascular system. Vascul Pharmacol. 2014
  5. Alusik S, Kalatova D, Paluch Z. Serotonin syndrome. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2014
  6. Selvaraj S, Arnone D, Cappai A, Howes O. Alterations in the serotonin system in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of postmortem and molecular imaging studies. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014
  7. Naumenko VS, Popova NK, Lacivita E, Leopoldo M, Ponimaskin EG. Interplay between serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptors in depressive disorders. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2014
  8. Fabbri C, Minarini A, Niitsu T, Serretti A. Understanding the pharmacogenetics of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2014
  9. Benhamú B, Martín-Fontecha M, Vázquez-Villa H, Pardo L, López-Rodríguez ML. Serotonin 5-HT6 receptor antagonists for the treatment of cognitive deficiency in Alzheimer's disease. J Med Chem. 2014
  10. Dayer A. Serotonin-related pathways and developmental plasticity: relevance for psychiatric disorders. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2014
  11. Ding S, Zhou FM. Serotonin regulation of subthalamic neurons. Rev Neurosci. 2014
  12. Monti JM, Jantos H. The role of serotonin 5-HT7 receptor in regulating sleep and wakefulness. Rev Neurosci. 2014
  13. Dussor G. Serotonin, 5HT1 agonists, and migraine: new data, but old questions still not answered. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2014
  14. Bundeff AW, Woodis CB. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Ann Pharmacother. 2014
  15. Gabriele S, Sacco R, Persico AM. Blood serotonin levels in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014
  16. Yang CJ, Tan HP, Du YJ. The developmental disruptions of serotonin signaling may involved in autism during early brain development. Neuroscience. 2014
  17. Patrick RP, Ames BN. Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism. FASEB J. 2014
  18. Reeves RR, Ladner ME, Smith P. About serotonin syndrome. J Miss State Med Assoc. 2013
  19. Seyedabadi M, Fakhfouri G, Ramezani V, Mehr SE, Rahimian R. The role of serotonin in memory: interactions with neurotransmitters and downstream signaling. Exp Brain Res. 2014
  20. Mahar I, Bambico FR, Mechawar N, Nobrega JN. Stress, serotonin, and hippocampal neurogenesis in relation to depression and antidepressant effects. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014
  21. Uphouse L. Pharmacology of serotonin and female sexual behavior. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014
  22. Johnston KD, Lu Z, Rudd JA. Looking beyond 5-HT(3) receptors: a review of the wider role of serotonin in the pharmacology of nausea and vomiting. Eur J Pharmacol. 2014
  23. Kalbitzer J, Kalbitzer U, Knudsen GM, Cumming P, Heinz A. How the cerebral serotonin homeostasis predicts environmental changes: a model to explain seasonal changes of brain 5-HTT as intermediate phenotype of the 5-HTTLPR. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013
  24. Bijlsma EY, Chan JS, Olivier B, Veening JG, Millan MJ, Waldinger MD, Oosting RS. Sexual side effects of serotonergic antidepressants: mediated by inhibition of serotonin on central dopamine release? Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014
  25. Adnot S, Houssaini A, Abid S, Marcos E, Amsellem V. Serotonin transporter and serotonin receptors. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2013
  26. Hensler JG, Artigas F, Bortolozzi A, Daws LC, De Deurwaerdère P, Milan L, Navailles S, Koek W. Catecholamine/Serotonin interactions: systems thinking for brain function and disease. Adv Pharmacol. 2013
  27. Haberzettl R, Bert B, Fink H, Fox MA. Animal models of the serotonin syndrome: a systematic review. Behav Brain Res. 2013
  28. Kato S. Role of serotonin 5-HT₃ receptors in intestinal inflammation. Biol Pharm Bull. 2013
  29. Siegel JZ, Crockett MJ. How serotonin shapes moral judgment and behavior. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013
  30. Cunningham KA, Anastasio NC. Serotonin at the nexus of impulsivity and cue reactivity in cocaine addiction. Neuropharmacology. 2014
  31. Bradley AJ, Lenox-Smith AJ. Does adding noradrenaline reuptake inhibition to selective serotonin reuptake inhibition improve efficacy in patients with depression? A systematic review of meta-analyses and large randomised pragmatic trials. J Psychopharmacol. 2013
  32. Mawe GM, Hoffman JM. Serotonin signalling in the gut--functions, dysfunctions and therapeutic targets. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013
  33. Celada P, Bortolozzi A, Artigas F. Serotonin 5-HT1A receptors as targets for agents to treat psychiatric disorders: rationale and current status of research. CNS Drugs. 2013
  34. Gur TL, Kim DR, Epperson CN. Central nervous system effects of prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: sensing the signal through the noise. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013
  35. Kuhn M, Popovic A, Pezawas L. Neuroplasticity and memory formation in major depressive disorder: an imaging genetics perspective on serotonin and BDNF. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2014
  36. Salomon RM, Cowan RL. Oscillatory serotonin function in depression. Synapse. 2013
  37. Araragi N, Lesch KP. Serotonin (5-HT) in the regulation of depression-related emotionality: insight from 5-HT transporter and tryptophan hydroxylase-2 knockout mouse models. Curr Drug Targets. 2013
  38. Cowen P, Sherwood AC. The role of serotonin in cognitive function: evidence from recent studies and implications for understanding depression. J Psychopharmacol. 2013
  39. Catena-Dell'Osso M, Rotella F, Dell'Osso A, Fagiolini A, Marazziti D. Inflammation, serotonin and major depression. Curr Drug Targets. 2013
  40. Viguier F, Michot B, Hamon M, Bourgoin S. Multiple roles of serotonin in pain control mechanisms--implications of 5-HT₇ and other 5-HT receptor types. Eur J Pharmacol. 2013
  41. Harrington RA, Lee LC, Crum RM, Zimmerman AW, Hertz-Picciotto I. Serotonin hypothesis of autism: implications for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use during pregnancy. Autism Res. 2013
  42. Blier P, El Mansari M. Serotonin and beyond: therapeutics for major depression. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013
  43. Pringle A, McCabe C, Cowen PJ, Harmer CJ. Antidepressant treatment and emotional processing: can we dissociate the roles of serotonin and noradrenaline? J Psychopharmacol. 2013
  44. Duke AA, Bègue L, Bell R, Eisenlohr-Moul T. Revisiting the serotonin-aggression relation in humans: a meta-analysis. Psychol Bull. 2013
  45. Baganz NL, Blakely RD. A dialogue between the immune system and brain, spoken in the language of serotonin. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2013
  46. Gupta A, Sharma PK, Garg VK, Singh AK, Mondal SC. Role of serotonin in seasonal affective disorder. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013
  47. Gershon MD. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) in the gastrointestinal tract. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2013
  48. Nelson EM, Philbrick AM. Avoiding serotonin syndrome: the nature of the interaction between tramadol and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Ann Pharmacother. 2012
  49. Trakhtenberg EF, Goldberg JL. The role of serotonin in axon and dendrite growth. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2012
  50. Benningfield MM, Cowan RL. Brain serotonin function in MDMA (ecstasy) users: evidence for persisting neurotoxicity. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013
  51. Meneses A, Liy-Salmeron G. Serotonin and emotion, learning and memory. Rev Neurosci. 2012
  52. Fidalgo S, Ivanov DK, Wood SH. Serotonin: from top to bottom. Biogerontology. 2013
  53. Domínguez-López S, Howell R, Gobbi G. Characterization of serotonin neurotransmission in knockout mice: implications for major depression. Rev Neurosci. 2012
  54. Lesch KP, Waider J. Serotonin in the modulation of neural plasticity and networks: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders. Neuron. 2012
  55. Kroeze Y, Zhou H, Homberg JR. The genetics of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Pharmacol Ther. 2012
  56. Curran KP, Chalasani SH. Serotonin circuits and anxiety: what can invertebrates teach us? Invert Neurosci. 2012
  57. Kant S, Liebelt E. Recognizing serotonin toxicity in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012
  58. Haleem DJ. Serotonin neurotransmission in anorexia nervosa. Behav Pharmacol. 2012
  59. Nonogaki K. Serotonin conflict in sleep-feeding. Vitam Horm. 2012
  60. Maron E, Nutt D, Shlik J. Neuroimaging of serotonin system in anxiety disorders. Curr Pharm Des. 2012
  61. Berumen LC, Rodríguez A, Miledi R, García-Alcocer G. Serotonin receptors in hippocampus. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012
  62. Dalley JW, Roiser JP. Dopamine, serotonin and impulsivity. Neuroscience. 2012
  63. Watts SW, Morrison SF, Davis RP, Barman SM. Serotonin and blood pressure regulation. Pharmacol Rev. 2012
  64. Cirillo C, Vanden Berghe P, Tack J. Role of serotonin in gastrointestinal physiology and pathology. Minerva Endocrinol. 2011
  65. Kiser D, Steemers B, Branchi I, Homberg JR. The reciprocal interaction between serotonin and social behaviour. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012
  66. Sadler TW. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and heart defects: potential mechanisms for the observed associations. Reprod Toxicol. 2011
  67. Ciarleglio CM, Resuehr HE, McMahon DG. Interactions of the serotonin and circadian systems: nature and nurture in rhythms and blues. Neuroscience. 2011
  68. Fernandez SP, Gaspar P. Investigating anxiety and depressive-like phenotypes in genetic mouse models of serotonin depletion. Neuropharmacology. 2012
  69. Geldenhuys WJ, Van der Schyf CJ. Role of serotonin in Alzheimer's disease: a new therapeutic target? CNS Drugs. 2011
  70. Bardin L. The complex role of serotonin and 5-HT receptors in chronic pain. Behav Pharmacol. 2011
  71. Homberg JR. Serotonin and decision making processes. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012
  72. Watanabe H, Rose MT, Aso H. Role of peripheral serotonin in glucose and lipid metabolism. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2011
  73. Monti JM. Serotonin control of sleep-wake behavior. Sleep Med Rev. 2011
  74. Sanner JE, Frazier L. The role of serotonin in depression and clotting in the coronary artery disease population. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2011
  75. Meneses A, Perez-Garcia G, Ponce-Lopez T, Tellez R, Castillo C. Serotonin transporter and memory. Neuropharmacology. 2011
  76. Olivier JD, Blom T, Arentsen T, Homberg JR. The age-dependent effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in humans and rodents: A review. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *