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Serotonin: the key to happiness and well-being

Serotonin: the key to happiness and well-being

Did you know serotonin is also involved in other physiological activities besides enhancing mood in people? This infographic gives the importance of serotonin in the human body

Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep, among other physiological processes. The brain produces 10 per cent of serotonin, and the rest, 90 per cent, comes from the gut. Often referred to as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, serotonin promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. Conversely, low serotonin levels have been associated with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. At the same time, excessive amounts of serotonin lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. 

Serotonin is synthesised from the amino acid tryptophan and is broken down by enzymes in the body. The resulting metabolites give a measure of the neurotransmitter’s activity.  

Serotonin is targeted by many antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain.  

The below infographic portrays the key aspects of serotonin. 

A peek into the diverse role of serotonin
A peek into the multiple functions of serotonin in human body | Illustration by Mridula Sharma

Read more: A peek into the diverse world of neurons 

Read more: Neurons: the building blocks of brain 

Read more: Synapse: how neurons communicate 

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