Happiness hormone: 95% of serotonin is in the gut

Techno 13 December, 2017

2016-10-14 15:12

Happiness hormone: 95% of serotonin is in the gut
Serotonin is often called the “happiness hormone”, it is produced in the body in times of ecstasy, its level rises during the euphoria and decreases during the depression.

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Serotonin is often called the “happiness hormone”, it is produced in the body in times of ecstasy, its level rises during the euphoria and decreases during the depression. But along with the most important task is to give us a good mood, it performs in the body has a lot of functions.


Serotonin plays the role of a chemical transmitter impulses between nerve cells. Although this substance is produced in the brain, where it performs its primary function, approximately 95% of serotonin is synthesized in the gastrointestinal tract and platelets. In the body constantly circulates up to 10 mg of serotonin.

Serotonin relates to biogenic amines, metabolism similar to the metabolism of catecholamines. A neurotransmitter and hormone involved in the regulation of memory, sleep, behavioral and emotional reactions, blood pressure monitoring, thermoregulation, and food reactions. Formed in serotonergically neurons, Epps and enterochromaffin cells of the gastrointestinal tract.

95% of the serotonin in the human body is localized in the intestine, is a major source of blood serotonin.

In the blood it is found predominantly in platelets that capture the serotonin from plasma.


It is known that serotonin levels through the roof in moments of happiness and falls during the depression. 5-10% of serotonin is synthesized by the pineal gland from the essential amino acid tryptophan. For its production is absolutely necessary sunlight, which is why on Sunny days our mood on top. This process may explain the well-known winter depression.


Serotonin helps transmit information from one brain area to another. In addition, it affects a lot psychological and other processes in the body. From 80-90 billion cells in the brain serotonin has a direct or indirect impact on most of them. It affects the cells that are responsible for mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning ability, temperature and some aspects of social behavior.

It is proved that the decrease of serotonin increases the sensitivity of the pain system of the body, that is, even the weakest comments irritation severe pain.

Serotonin can also affect the functioning of the cardiovascular, endocrine systems and muscle function.

Studies have shown that serotonin may play a role in the formation of breast milk, and its deficiency may be the cause of sudden death in infants during sleep.

  • Serotonin normalizes blood clotting; patients with bleeding tendency the amount of serotonin is reduced; the introduction of serotoninergicescoy reduce bleeding
  • stimulates the smooth muscles of blood vessels, respiratory tract, intestine; increases peristalsis of the intestine, reduce the daily amount of urine, narrowing of the bronchioles (branching bronchi). Lack of serotonin can cause intestinal obstruction.
  • An excess of the hormone serotonin in regulating brain structures suppresses the function of the reproductive system.
  • Serotonin is involved in the pathogenesis of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular, carcinoid syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. Determination of the concentration of serotonin in blood in clinical practice used primarily in the diagnosis of carcinoid tumors of the abdominal cavity (the test is positive in 45% of cases of carcinoid of the rectum). The study of blood serotonin it is advisable to use in combination with the determination of the excretion of the serotonin metabolite (5-HIAA) in the urine.


The mood of the person depends on the amount of serotonin in the body. Of the serotonin produced by the brain, but however, quite a large part of it is produced by the intestines.

It is possible that a deficit of serotonin in the intestines and determines the development of depression. And the lack of it in the brain – only a consequence, and related sign.

Moreover, this phenomenon may explain the side effect from the use of the most common remedies for the treatment of depression. It is often used antidepressants (inhibitors of serotonin reuptake) and operate on the intestines, causing nausea and digestive disorders.

A shortage of serotonin increases the pain threshold of sensitivity, causes impaired intestinal motility (IBS, constipation and diarrhea), secretion of stomach and duodenum (chronic gastritis and ulcers). The lack serotina affects the metabolism of beneficial microflora of the colon, inhibiting it.

In addition of intestinal Dysbiosis, a lack of serotonin in the body can be, and all other diseases of the digestive system, leading to poor assimilation of food needed by the body substances, such as tryptophan.

The reason for this low number of brain cells responsible for serotonin production and the lack of receptors able to receive serotonin produced. Or blame deficiency of tryptophan (an essential amino acid that makes up serotonin. If at least one of these problems, there is a greater likelihood of depression and obsessive-compulsive neurological disorders: anxiety, panic and bouts of unreasoning anger.

At the same time, while certainly not known, the deficiency of serotonin causes depression or depression causes serotonin levels to drop.


However, in addition there are some causes which do linked to depression and obesity.

The deposition of fat predominantly in the abdomen, caused by the action of cortisol, whose level is elevated in chronic stress and depressive disorders.

People diagnosed with depression clinically, much faster gaining volume at the waist than is healthy. Moreover, depressed patients are much more difficult to follow a diet. There is a correlation between the release of insulin and secretion of serotonin ( a neurotransmitter responsible for mood).

When we eat something, the sugar trapped in the blood, causes the release of insulin. The insulin turns the glucose into the cell and triggers a series of processes that result in the release of serotonin.

Intake of carbs (no matter simple or complex) automatically leads to “release” the pancreas of the hormone insulin. The task of this hormone is to withdraw from the blood the excess sugar (glucose).

If not insulin, the blood after a meal would quickly become as thick as molasses. Crucially, along the way, insulin “picks up” from the blood of all the essential amino acids and sends them to the muscles. (No accident that the jocks consider insulin the second doping after the steroids!) But here’s the RUB: the only amino acid that does not respond to the insulin – tryptophan.

Tryptophan is left in blood, sneaking into the brain, and this increases serotonin levels.

Tryptophan is contained in any rich in animal proteins (protein) food. But, the consumption of protein foods, however, not affected by the increase in the content of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin gives a feeling of fullness.

If serotonin is small, it requires increasingly greater amounts of insulin, so more sugar. On the other hand, you can use sweets or any foods with carbohydrates to improve mood. The more sweet, the more the release of serotonin. This property is to improve your mood sweets used subconsciously. I want chocolate after stress? During PMS? In winter, during short winter days? Quit Smoking and stalling for dessert? ( nicotine also causes the release of serotonin, so its people replace the sweets). A nice way to cheer yourself up. However, this mood elevation is given expensive. All calories eaten for the serotonin recharge moving into the fatty tissue. And cortisol pushes them in the waist area and abdomen.

We are, in fact, only 10% people and the rest of the germs

They inhabit our skin, live in the nasopharynx, throughout the intestine. For example, in the intestine contains almost 2 kg of bacteria. Of course, they are smaller than human cells 10-100 times, but they strongly influence our lives.

Did you know that germs like to chat? Yes, they talk, but only in their own language.

We live in a world of bacteria, and they affect us more than we think.

Microbiota regulates all the processes in our body. Microorganisms are involved in many types of metabolism, synthesize necessary substances, such as vitamin B12, a nutrient aminoguanine, including serotonin – the hormone of joy.

In the gut serotonin contains 95%, and in the head – only 5 %. Here is your answer. Serotonin plays an important role in the regulation of motility and secretion in the gastrointestinal tract, increasing its peristalsis and secretory activity. In addition, serotonin plays the role of a growth factor for some types of symbiotic micro-organisms, enhances bacterial metabolism in the colon. The bacteria of the large intestine also contribute to the production of serotonin by the intestine, since many species of symbiotic bacteria possess the ability decarbauxilirovanie tryptophan. When Dysbiosis and other diseases of the colon production of serotonin by the intestine is significantly reduced.

It turned out that the rough components of plant foods we need, and is vital. This “ballast” to protect us from many adverse factors and serves as “food” for beneficial gut microflora.


Everyone knows that serotonin is a chemical mediator transmission of nerve impulses in the brain that it affects emotions and mood. But few know that the brain produces only 5% of serotonin, and the majority – up to 95% is created by cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Mainly duodenum. Intestinal serotonin is involved in digestion, but not only.

Moreover, intestinal serotonin controls not fun, and inhibits bone formation.

Scientists from Columbia University in new York (USA) came to this conclusion through a study in which we evaluated the role of protein Lrp5 (LDL receptor related protein 5), which controls the rate of formation of serotonin, in the development of osteoporosis. The fact that during the examination of patients with rare and severe forms of osteoporosis was found that a catastrophic loss of bone mass, and its sharp increase associated with two different mutations of the gene Lrp5. Scientists blocked the gene expression of this protein in the intestine of mice, which led to a sharp decrease in bone mass in rodents.

In the intestinal cells of mice, the researchers found a large number of enzyme converting dietary amino acid tryptophan to serotonin. The synthesized serotonin is transferred with blood to cells of the bone tissue, where it inhibits the function of osteoblasts. When mice were fed a food with reduced levels of tryptophan, synthesis of serotonin is reduced, and bone mass increased respectively. To the same effect, the use of substances that suppress the synthesis of serotonin in the intestinal cells.

But serotonin from the intestines has a positive reverse side of the coin!

Most of the serotonin into the bloodstream where it accumulates in platelets plays an important role in the blood coagulation system.

Platelets are enriched serotonin during the passage through the vessels of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Serotonin is released from platelets during their aggregation, caused by ADP, adrenaline, collagen.

Serotonin has many properties: provides vasoconstrictor effect, arterial pressure changes, is the antagonist of heparin; with thrombocytopenia is able to normalize the retraction of a blood clot in the presence of thrombin to accelerate the transition of fibrinogen to fibrin.

The role of serotonin during allergic reactions in the Central nervous system, heart and blood vessels, skeletal system and the development of infectious diseases.


It can, but indirectly. Unlike calcium-rich foods, which boost levels of this mineral in the blood, there are no foods that can affect the amount of serotonin. However, there are foods and some nutrients that can increase the level of tryptophan – an amino acid that makes up serotonin.

Serotonin is a hormone produced in the human body. Therefore, serotonin in food is not and can not be.

But to increase the production of serotonin in the body will help You exactly food.

The easiest way to increase serotonin levels is to eat sweets. By the way, simple carbohydrates promote production of serotonin, and a lot in baking, and even simple white bread. However, this way of increasing the amount of serotonin in the body entails the appearance of depending on sweet.

It has been proved by scientists on the basis of experiments conducted on laboratory animals. The mechanism of dependence on sweet is very simple: You eat sugar, increases serotonin levels, and then the sugar is processed, the amount in the blood falls, the body begins to demand more of serotonin, that is sweets. Here such vicious circle.

Therefore, a method of increasing serotonin with sweet while leaving in case of emergency.

In order for the body’s normal amounts of serotonin produced, you need to food received the amino acid tryptophan – the precursor of serotonin in the body. What foods have tryptophan and how much you need to eat to provide themselves with serotonin?

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, means to replenish it is the only source of food. Tryptophan is contained in any rich in animal proteins (protein) food. The consumption of protein foods, however, not affected by the increase in the content of serotonin in the brain.

The reason for this is the presence of the blood-brain barrier, limiting the flow to the brain of large molecules. During the digestion of protein food is released a few amino acids, similar in size to tryptophan and competing with him in moving to the brain. As not strange it sounds to the brain get more tryptophan, you should eat something that consists almost entirely of carbohydrates, such as, for example, foods that contain complex carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta or net carbs: table sugar or fructose.

What is the mechanism? Food enriched with carbohydrates, stimulates the secretion of pancreatic insulin to regulate the sugar content in the blood circulating in the body. In addition to this primary function of insulin performs a number of other — in particular, it stimulates the synthesis of body tissue protein contained in blood amino acids. Competitive amino acid tryptophan leave the bloodstream going to the protein synthesis and its concentration in the blood passive increases, accordingly increases the number of molecules of tryptophan crossing into the brain. Therefore, the effective flow of tryptophan into the brain indirectly depends on the number of accepted carbohydrate food.

Conclusion the carbohydrate food consumed in accordance with a properly designed regime can have a beneficial effect on mood and reduce the burden of disease associated with inhibition of serotonine system.


Sport can improve your mood. Studies have shown that regular exercise can be just as effective treating depression as antidepressants or therapy. If earlier it was believed that to achieve the desired effect requires several weeks of classes, a recent study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin, has confirmed 40 minutes of fitness is enough to restore a positive attitude.

However, it remains unclear the principle impact of sports on depression. Many researchers believe that fitness affects serotonin levels, but there is no definitive evidence of this fact.

Men and women is the same serotonin levels?

Studies show that men do slightly more serotonin than women, but the difference is negligible. This may explain the fact that the weaker sex should know what is depression. While men and women are completely different reaction to low serotonin. Scientists have conducted an experiment artificially reduced the amount of tryptophan. Men become impulsive, but not depressed, and women celebrated in a bad mood and unwillingness to communicate – that the most characteristic signs of depression.

While manufacturing the serotonin system of both sexes works the same, the serotonin is used in different ways. A recent study designed to answer the question – why do women more often than men experience anxiety and mood swings, while the men drink alcohol depression.

There is evidence that female sex hormones may also interact with serotonin, which significantly worsens the mood before menstruation and during menopause. On the other hand, men stable level of sex hormones until middle age, then decline.


Medicine believes that with age, slowing the work of neurotransmitters. Numerous studies around the world have discovered the lack of serotonin in the brain dead patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have suggested – perhaps a shortage of serotonin was observed due to the reduction in the number of receptors responsible for the transmission of serotonin. In this case, while there is no evidence that increasing the levels of serotonin prevent Alzheimer’s or delay the development of dementia.


Antidepressants are generally considered safe, however, in rare cases, serotonin syndrome – when the concentration of this substance in the brain too much. This most often occurs when a person takes two or more medicines that can affect the levels of serotonin. This can occur if you are taking medicine for a headache and at the same time, drink a remedy for depression.

Problems can begin, if you increase the dosage. The adverse effect can be observed in the use of several anti-depression drugs. Therefore, to avoid serotonin syndrome consult a doctor.

Finally, drugs such as ecstasy or LSD can also cause serotonin syndrome.

The symptoms can take a few minutes and can let you know about themselves for hours. They include restlessness, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, fever, loss of coordination, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid changes in blood pressure. In such cases, the urgent need to stop the medication to stop the production of serotonin and seek medical help.


Serotonin is one of the main neurotransmitters of the CNS. Having pathogenic effects on the body. In humans active this substance manifests itself only in relation to platelets, and to the small intestine. This substance serves as a mediator of irritation. Activity immediate allergic manifestations are insignificant. Also, this substance is released from platelets and causes a short-term spasm of the bronchi.

Karzai typically secrete serotonin. The basis for the formation of this substance is tryptophan, which the cancer cells out of the plasma. Carcinoid can use about half of the tryptophan obtained from food. As a result, the number remained the tryptophan may not be sufficient for the formation of proteins and vitamin PP. In view of this, in cancer patients with multiple metastases are often recorded manifestations of protein malnutrition.

Serotonin promotes secretion and reduces the rate of absorption by the intestinal wall and stimulates peristalsis. I suppose that is an increased amount of this substance is a factor of diarrhea in carcinoid syndrome.

Excessive secretion just serotonin may not be the cause of the tides. In the development of vasomotor disturbances involving many peptide hormones and monoamines, while individuals percentage is different.


Scientists have proved that the activity of serotonin varies depending on the time of year. It can be the cause of depression, which is often coming with the arrival of autumn.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is a kind of transmitter of signals between neurons in the brain that are responsible for mood, dietary habits, sexual behavior, sleep and energy. Like all neurotransmitters, the substance enters the synaptic cleft through the neuron that transmits the signal, and affects the receptors of the neuron that receives the signal.

The main regulator of the amount of the substance in the synaptic cleft protein, which carries its surplus back into the neuron that transmits the signal. Thus, the more active the protein, the weaker the action of serotonin. Many antidepressants are designed based on the principle of blocking this protein.

Was conducted a number of studies in which it was found that the activity of the protein that transports serotonin, increases in autumn and winter, that is the time when we miss the sun. These data explain why in the autumn-winter period we have symptoms of depression, namely disturbed sleep, worsening mood, we start to overeat, become lethargic and constantly tired.

To avoid lack of this substance is recommended as often as possible to fresh air, and it is best to visit a Solarium. This substance is produced under the influence of ultraviolet rays, which lose their activity in the cold season. You can also eat one banana a day: this tropical fruit promotes the release of hormone of happiness.


Melatonin releases from the pineal gland from serotonin, which in turn is synthesized by the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan. When we consume tryptophan from food, the body converts a significant portion of it into serotonin. However, the enzymes in charge of transforming serotonin into melatonin are suppressed by light, that is why this hormone is produced at night. Lack of serotonin leads to lack of melatonin that leads to insomnia. So often the first sign of depression is the problem of falling asleep and waking up. People suffering from depression, the rhythm of the allocation of melatonin is severely disturbed. For example, peak production of this hormone accounts for the time from dawn until noon instead of the usual 2am. For those who still suffer fatigue, the rhythms of melatonin synthesis changed entirely chaotic.


Serotonin and adrenaline are just two of about thirty neurotransmitters, complex organic substances, the molecules of which carry out the interconnection and interaction of cells of the nervous tissue.

Serotonin controls the performance of other transmitters, like standing on guard and decides to skip or not the signal to the brain. The result is: a deficiency of serotonin, this control weakens and adrenalin reactions, passing into the brain, include the mechanisms of anxiety and panic even when special and the reason to this is no, because the guardian, which selects the priority and appropriateness of the response deficit.