Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a very important chemical found in the human body. It carries neurotransmitter from the brain to the other parts of the body, including digestive system and blood platelets. Neurotransmitters are extremely important for the body because they transfer the most essential signals from the brain to the different parts of the body. Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter that is essential for controlling several neuropsychological characteristics of the body, like appetite, stress, mood and sleep, etc. Naturally, if the brain’s serotonin levels lower, then several neuropsychological and physical disorders may arise.
Why do the body require serotonin?
Serotonin has scores of functions in the human body, some of those functions are as follows –
- Regulation of mood – Serotonin is the prime mood regular. Due to this function, serotonin is often called ‘happy molecule’. Adequate amount of serotonin is necessary for the feeling of happiness, confidence and relaxation. The chemical is also necessary for controlling anger, anxiety and aggression.
- Helps in digestion – It is found that more than 80% of the body’s serotonin are always present in the enterochromaffin cells that are present in the stomach and intestines. Serotonin regulates the involuntary movement of food through the digestive system. When greater quantities of toxic chemicals are present in the digestive system due to toxic ingredients in the consumed foods, more serotonin is accumulated in the system and expel the ingredient in form of diarrhea.
- Controls hunger – Serotonin is immensely important for the body as far as hunger and fulfillment is concerned. It has a vital role in signaling for hunger and craving for carbohydrate.
- Helps in blood clotting – Serotonin is released by platelets when there is a wound. Serotonin helps in vasoconstriction, which in turn reduces the flow of blood from the wound. Serotonin also helps is prompt blood clotting.
- Regulates sleep cycle – Serotonin helps in the formation of melatonin; the latter is extremely important in maintaining sleep cycle of the body.
- Controls social behaviors – Serotonin is also useful in regulating aggressive emotions in people when they interact with the neighbors and unknown people.
Several researches have showed that people who suffer from the symptoms of anxiety and depression have lower levels of serotonin in their bodies. Other major symptoms of serotonin deficiency are being oddly sensitive to pain, negative thoughts, loss of focus and enthusiasm, feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed without any sufficient reasons, insomnia, migraine, loss of memory, poor digestion, and weak cognitive function, etc.
Cause of serotonin deficiency
Decrease in the brain’s serotonin levels may give rise to many of the above mentioned issues. In most of the cases it is found that due to the poor eating habit, the serotonin level in the body decreases abruptly. An individual’s diet needs to be wholesome from every aspect. Diets high in caffeinated products may further decrease the levels of serotonin in the body. Protein is required to provide sufficient quantities of amino acids, which are in turn required to form neurotransmitters in adequate quantities, including serotonin.