Serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter associated with many bodily functions including digestion, sleep, and vomiting. It’s primarily known for the role it plays in regulation of mood–it has been referred to as the body’s “feel-good” chemical.1
Here’s a list of some of the things serotonin does:
- Regulates mood–anxiety, moodiness and anxiety are common in people with low levels of serotonin
- Memory–appears to play a role in memory formation
- Regulates digestion–reduces appetite, contributes to normal bowel function, and protects the gut by helping unwanted items in the digestive track “move along” via vomiting & diarrhea
- Regulates sleep–it is believed to play a part in when, how long, and how well we sleep
- Bone health–may influence bone density-high levels of serotonin in the bones can lead to osteoporosis
- Blood clotting–helps slow blood flow to cuts and other tissue damage234
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- Jenkins TA, Nguyen JC, Polglaze KE, Bertrand PP. Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):56. doi:10.3390/nu8010056