What Is The Function Of Serotonin And Dopamine?

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What Is The Function Of Serotonin And Dopamine?

Your brain is the most complex organ of your body. After all, it includes more than 100 billion nerves that are continuously working together and controlling what you do, feel, and think.

When all the parts of your brain are working well together, everything is fine. However, sometimes, there may be an imbalance of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters.

One of the things that you need to understand is that both serotonin and dopamine are usually known as "happy chemicals". Nevertheless, they are different and, this way, they have different functions. In addition, and unlike what you may believe, these neurotransmitters are only related to your happiness and mood but they also affect your pain response, digestion, sleep, among other functions.


Just like any neurotransmitter, the main job of serotonin is to send signals between the cells of your body.

While most people tend to relate serotonin with mood and brain functions, the reality is that its main role is related to your digestive system. Serotonin is produced by the tryptophan amino acid. However, this is a crucial amino acid which means that you need to ingest it since your body isn't able to produce it on its own. The most common foods where you can find it include turkey, nuts, salmon, eggs, tofu, among others.

As we already mentioned, serotonin also has a role in your happiness and mood. However, unlike what you may think this neurotransmitter isn't a mood booster but, instead, it acts as a mood stabilizer.

The main functions of serotonin include:

- Digestion: it helps not only with the regulation of your bowel movements but also with other digestive functions.

- Sleep: it helps to promote wakefulness in the morning.

- Wound Healing: it helps blood clotting.


This neurotransmitter is connected to your brain's pleasure center. In addition, dopamine also has different functions that are important to mention. One of them is related to the control of the movements.

Nevertheless, dopamine continues to be a hot topic in discussions. The truth is that it is often associated with drug addiction. When the dopamine is created in the ventral tegmental area (TGA) of your brain, it is associated with rewards. Even though this is what helps you going through some necessary behaviors such as eating or drinking water, it is also what can lead you to drug use.

Serotonin Vs Dopamine: The Differences

As you can see, even though both serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters and that are related to your mood and happiness, the reality is that they both have different functions. While serotonin isn't a booster but a stabilizer of your mood, dopamine brings the feeling of pleasure and delivers the happiness that is based on an action that you took. In addition, and in what concerns to the functions they perform, while serotonin helps you with your digestion and sleep, dopamine has a crucial role in the control of movements.