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What Is Serotonin & How To Naturally Increase Your Levels Part II

This article is part two of a three-part series. In the first article, we discussed serotonin and how it differs from dopamine. Many people understand serotonin to be related to mood depression.

However, it is not common knowledge how serotonin affects our mood. This article will look further into how serotonin works concerning depression and mental health.


How Serotonin Affects Our Emotions

As stated before, serotonin plays a part in our mood but does not directly change our mood like dopamine. Instead, it is involved in the regulation and management of our mood. Low levels of serotonin can cause a wide variety of difficulties that cause dysregulation within the body. This makes it hard to pinpoint its exact effects on our mental health.

Here are some ways in which serotonin affects the body’s systems.


Normal serotonin levels regulate the mood and keep someone emotionally stable, focused, and generally happier and calmer. Medication for depression and anxiety often tries to increase serotonin levels in the brain.


As mentioned in the first article, most serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and assists in bowel functions. It can help speed up digestion and plays a role in appetite management. It has also been linked to eating disorders because of its part in appetite management.


The brain interprets the stomach releasing serotonin quicker than it can digest as nausea. This tells the body that something is too toxic and cannot be digested quickly enough. Thus, you vomit to get rid of it instead.


Serotonin is used to make melatonin, the key ingredient in making you feel sleepy. Low serotonin means low melatonin. As a result, you may have insomnia.


Body Healing And Health

Serotonin is used in many areas of the body to promote physical health. It promotes blood clotting, which helps the body’s healing process. It also accelerates cell migration to improve wound healing in burn patients. Serotonin levels have been associated with bone density conditions like osteoporosis and can affect a person’s sexual desires.

Photo: Zigic

Serotonin And Depression

Serotonin does not seem to inherently cause mood changes. It is more associated with modes of regulation in the body. Higher levels are associated with more acute health problems like shivers, confusion, profuse sweating, and osteoporosis. Lower levels are linked to frequent mood swings, increased irritability, poor sleep, and a lack of appetite.


Columbia University researchers have found that most of the 15 serotonin receptors are linked to depression. They have studied the 1A and 1B receptors the most. They found these receptors are the primary ones involved in antidepressant treatment. Most of the research indicates that serotonin levels affect a person’s ability to recover from depression rather than causing depression.

Studies done with tryptophan show that patients with previous episodes of depression have more evident signs of tryptophan deletion than those who only have a history of family depression. This seems to indicate that those with lower serotonin uptake struggle to recover from depletion than those who have no prior history of clinical depression. This may be a signal of the cyclical nature of clinical depression.

Photo: Apostolovic


Serotonin is a very important chemical that affects the body’s balance. Too little or too much may cause severe health problems. Maintaining healthy levels in the body can significantly improve a person’s life quality. Always speak to a medical professional before considering any medications or at-home remedies.

In the next article, we will further discuss problems of deficiency symptoms, causes, and treatments for low and high serotonin levels.