Facts About Serotonin

By PositiveMed Team- Costa Rica Office
Edited by Stephanie Dawson and Nima Shei, MD
Last Updated on August 2nd 2013

Serotonin is a hormone found in our nervous system, as well as in the nervous system of all other animals. This hormone (neurotransmitter) is widely used by neurons to transmit signals. When serotonin produced tension is eased and the person feels less stressed and more focused and relaxed.

Facts about Serotonin

• Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is derived from the amino acid tryptophan, chocolate and bananas are packed with tryptophan

Boost-Serotonin

• Serotonin levels are affected by diet
• Low levels of serotonin are named the culprit in many disorders, the main one being depression. In fact, studies suggest that depression may be caused by an imbalance in serotonin levels.
• Serotonin levels affect your mood and perception
• Doing things that make you happy increases serotonin levels
• The majority of serotonin is not in the brain, but in the rest of the nervous system.

serotonin pathways

• The different neuronal pathways are intrinsically linked to each other, so that all neurotransmitters may have effects on all other transmitters.
• Music increases serotonin levels.
• High levels of serotonin inhibit sexual behavior
• Studies suggest that falling in love can affect your serotonin levels
• Low levels of serotonin in devout religious people may be associated with intense, hallucinogenic religious experiences

Serial killers usually have low levels of serotonin. Anger and aggression naturally dampen serotonin levels, so this correlation may be coincidental, warrants more study