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Serotonin: Elixir of Joy (Infograph)

Serotonin is a hormone found in our digestive tract, the Central Nervous System (CNS), blood platelets and the Pineal Gland. It is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine, which is often abbreviated to 5-HT. Serotonin’s chemical formula is C10 H12 N2 O.

Since it was identified as a serum agent in the blood serum that affected vascular tone, scientists called it serotonin (serum that gives tone).

About 80% of our body’s total serotonin is in the gut, in the Enterochromaffin cells – where it regulates intestinal movements.

The rest is synthesized in the Serotonergic Neurons in the Central Nervous System. Serotonin cannot cross the Blood-Brain Barrier. Therefore serotonin that is used inside the brain must be produced within it.

Serotonin is one of neurotransmitters which are chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses across synapses; synapses are the spaces in between nerve cells.

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According to researchers at Macalester College, the absence of serotonin has been associated with greater aggressive behavior. Bristol University in England assures that serotonin is involved in: appetite, sleep, memory, learning, temperature, and mood.

Princeton University also mentions that Serotonin is known as a happiness hormone because it contributes to feelings of well-being, behavior, muscle contraction, cardiovascular function, endocrine regulation, regulating aging, bone metabolism, and wound healing as Serotonin is a growth factor for some types of cells.



This article was first published in 2014 and is currently republished for its relevance.