A group of cells at the bottom of the brain produces serotonin from an amino acid called L-tryptophan. Serotonin is also made in the digestive system and by precise skin and blood cells. Scientists have identified more than a dozen kinds of serotonin receptors in various areas of the body. Serotonin is a chemical that acts in the brain and other parts of the body to influence many feelings, actions and processes.

Some of the important functions regulated by serotonin include appetite, sleep, aggression, and moods. In the brain and the rest of the nervous system, serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a chemical that carries signals from one nerve cell to another. In many cases, serotonin acts by modifying the effects of other neurotransmitters. Serotonin also helps shape early brain development. Serotonin occurs widely in plants and other animals as well as in human beings.

Fact File

Serotonin’s many effects on the body make it a promising target for drugs. For example, drugs that increase level of serotonin in the nervous system are prescribed for treatment of depression, migraine headaches, and schizophrenia..

What is Serotonin?

It is created by a process in which tryptophan, proteins; with tryptophan hydroxylase combines together and creates 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), or serotonin. This chemical has many functions in the human body. Since it also contributes to the wellbeing of a person and happiness, it is called a happy chemical.

This chemical is known for stabilizing our mood and also enables the brain to connect to the nerve system in order to transmit messages. But, too much serotonin can lead to depression.

The body uses serotonin in various ways-

Mood

It is produced in the brain and impacts mood, happiness, and tension. Low degrees of serotonin are connected to discouragement, while expanded degrees of the hormone may diminish the excitement

Movement in the bowel

It is found in your stomach and digestion tracts. It helps control your appetite and eating.

Queasiness

Serotonin is released when you feel nausea or queasy. It helps to expel food or different substances from the body. It also stimulates nausea in the brain.

Sleeping

Serotonin stimulates the cerebrum that controls sleep cycles. Regardless of whether you rest or wake, relies upon the area is invigorated and which serotonin receptor is utilized. But, the exact nature of serotonin’s role in sleep has been debated by researchers however, it is believed to influence when, how much, and how long you sleep soundly. Your body needs serotonin to generate melatonin, thus not having enough of the neurotransmitter can influence the pattern and level of your sleep.

Clotting of blood

This chemical is discharged to help mend wounds by formulating blood clotting. Serotonin triggers arteries, which assists with blooding clotting.

Bone Density

Having elevated levels of serotonin during the bones can prompt osteoporosis, which makes the bones more fragile. Various studies show that serotonin levels can influence bone density (the strength of your bones). Research suggests that elevated levels of serotonin in the gut may be associated with bone density.

Sexual Function

Along with changing your mood, serotonin may help determine the frequency and intensity of the sensual feelings you have. Its effect on libido is also somewhat related to the neurotransmitter’s connection to some other chemical in the brain: dopamine.