Legal Feel-Good Chemicals

Posted in Food Bites |
Key Facts: 
  • Serotonin and dopamine are vital to regulate your mood, manage your motivation and simply make you feel good!
  • The gut is your 'mini-brain', with 70% of our serotonin (mood balancing or 'feel-good' neurotransmitter) receptors inside the gastro-intestinal tract
  • Without enough tryptophan, which you have to get from your diet, you can’t make serotonin
  • Drugs like cocaine work on the dopamine ‘reward’ system, which is what makes them so addictive

Serotonin and dopamine are important neurotransmitters and your body’s mood regulators.  Their uses and effects are quite different though.  They may be created inside and by your body, but the right ingredients and ‘co-factors’ (partners) are critical for proper production.  The right environment is also essential to create ‘homeostasis’ – the body’s biological way of maintaining balance across all body systems and organs for optimum health. If homeostasis is disturbed, the chances are that all the raw materials required for production of these mood regulators will be diverted elsewhere, as will the co-factors. The body’s very thrifty with its chemicals.


Serotonin is pretty vital in good supply in our bodies because it’s used to switch off the stress response action of the HPA Axis.  It regulates sleep and mood, and is mainly found in the gastro-intestinal tract, in red platelets and in the central nervous system. Think of your gut as being your 'mini-brain', due to 70% of our serotonin (mood balancing or 'feel-good' neurotransmitter) receptors being in the gut.

Serotonin deficiency symptoms include:

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