Serotonin | What is it and how does this neurotransmitter work?
The image above (all images are in dutch, if you don't understand dutch than only read this blog), broken down below, was developed to understand how the neurotransmitter Serotonin manifests itself in our daily functioning. Each aspect of the diagram is zoomed in below. Serotonin is labeled as the feel-good hormone, which in my view is not something crazy. This '' hormone '' ensures that you function well in daily life! The steps below explain how the produced Serotonin is produced and what consequences it has in the body:
Serotonin is produced in the intestines
1. Serotonin is produced in the intestines after eating whole foods. Tryptophan is produced from this food, which is responsible for, among other things, the correct signals to the brain. Serotonin can only be produced through food. In addition, it can be seen that stress prevents the production of Serotonin and that sun (or light) and exercise actually promote the level. Sun provides tryptophan synthesis and exercise increases tryptophan by improving the oxygen supply. The intestinal flora is therefore leading in the whole. Do you have a healthy intestinal flora, then the conductivity of Serotonin is good. For example, if you eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, less Serotonin is produced.
Serotonin '' The Calming Neurotransmitter ''
2. When the intestinal flora is healthy, you will notice the following consequences:
- Satisfaction - Sufficient rest in combination with exercise - A good memory - The ability to concentrate / learn well - Sufficient mental rest - Properly functioning blood circulation - A healthy appetite - Good body temperature - Sufficient sleep due to the production of melatonin from Serotonin
However, if an imbalance takes place (in which not enough Serotonin is produced), then exactly the opposite happens: - Lethargy - Depression - Fatigue - Forgetfulness - Aggression - Fear - A low pain threshold - More risk of eating disorders - More cold - Insomnia
All facets that arise from the Serotonin level have an effect on the central nervous system. In addition, the Serotonin level ensures healthy emotions, thoughts and behavior. Finally, this largely determines the health of the immune system.
Dangers to your serotonin level
The biggest dangers to your intestinal flora are: - Refined sugar - Foods high in carbohydrates that have been neglected - Sugar substitutes that act like sugar in the body - Other additives and flavor enhancers All substances that disturb the natural balance of the intestinal flora are negative for body AND mind. These are actually all substances that naturally do not belong in your body. In the diagram below you can see that when eating the wrong food, the Serotonin level temporarily rises. Then you will be happy for a moment. After that, however, this effect will be nullified because the body has to produce more (too much) insulin. Then the ''after-dinner dip'' follows and you feel listless. If this repeats often enough, the Serotonin level will drop even further and you will have an even greater need for sugars, empty carbohydrates, additives and sugar substitutes. This works in the body because you want to get that Serotonin kick again. You avoid an after dinner dip, as it were, by eating whole foods that positively influence your intestinal bacteria.
The importance of a healthy intestinal flora as fuel for your body
The above information clearly shows that a healthy intestinal flora is vital for the healthy functioning of body and mind. Your body's fuel can only burn properly in a healthy combustion engine with the right balance between good and bad gut bacteria. See accompanying video for additional explanation about Serotonin: