In the form of proteins, amino acids are very important compounds and comprise the second largest component of human muscles, cells and other tissues in the body after water. These compounds combine into peptide chains which forms the building blocks of a lot of proteins which have many essential functions that include building cells.
Biologist know of about 500 amino acids, which are normally classified according to their functions. Your body must get 9 to 20 of these amino acids from foods and other sources because the body cannot produce all of them.
Where Does Serotonin Come From
One of these amino acids (5-HTP) in the body does produce is serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and has regulatory functions. Most of our serotonin is found in the alimentary canal where it regulates intestinal movements. Eventually the serotonin works its way out of the cells in the gut into the blood where it is stored by the platelets. Anytime your body needs to clot the blood, this serotonin serves as a vasoconstrictor. It also acts as a growth factor and supports wound healing.
The remaining serotonin is synthesized into neurons which affect such processes as sleep, appetite, and mood. It even functions to aid in memory and learning since these are all neurological functions.
The mood altering aspect of serotonin is clearly seen in women who were going through menopause. Certain hormones control the level of serotonin in your brain. During menopause or any other condition where home where hormones are fluctuating, the serotonin levels are not going to be the same. As they go down your mood goes down. As they go up these hormones fluctuate and therefore the level of serotonin in your brain fluctuates as well.
Some studies seem to indicate that not only does serotonin affects the mood level, but mood itself may be part of the process of serotonin production. It seems alterations and thoughts does have some effect on serotonin levels.
In addition, it seems that levels of brightness also affect serotonin production. It has something to do with how much light is taken into the retina and the fluctuations in tryptophan.
Finally, it’s thought that exercise has an effect on the serotonin levels. While nothing is conclusive studies have been conducted which seems to indicate this.
Through all of the studies and information, it seems that serotonin plays a vital part in the body and regulating some of the main functions which affect mood. Too much of it has an effect, and too little of it, definitely has an effect.