Biochemistry of Happy Hormones

Genetics and lifestyle factors play an important role in the mechanism of the feeling of happiness, and elevation of mode. The happy hormones include hormones and neurotransmitters.

The family of happy hormones consists of: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. In short referred to as D.O.S.E. family.

Actions of this family in the body are responsible for cheerfulness, emotional bonding, and self-esteem.

Dopamine is formed in the body from L-dopa (an amino acid) which is formed from an amine tyrosine. Dopamine is responsible for central cognitive function. Thus, dopamine makes man competent to face tough situations in life.

Oxytocin is a polypeptide hormone containing 8 amino acids, and is secreted by the posterior pituitary. It stimulates the contractions of the uterine muscles and the mammary gland. It is also triggered by closeness and touch. It is popularly known as the love hormone, and a physical 'hug' may promote the release and action of oxytocin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and is produced by the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is not synthesised in the body, and has to be supplied in diet. It promotes memory and learning capabilities, digestion, appetite, and sleep-wake cycle. Thus, it is a mood regulator, and makes one feel good and confident.

Endorphins are morphine-like compounds produced inside the body. They relieve pain and sedate the person. They are responsible for the feeling of euphoria. Combination of dopamine and endorphins is responsible for the feeling good sensation.

Thus, a combination of dopamine (D), Oxytocin (O), Serotonin (S), and endorphins (E) in a regulated manner makes the person cheerful, happy, and co-operative. Keeping these chemicals in balance is responsible for enjoyment in this stressful life. Lifestyle regulation is also needed to draw full benefit of these chemicals.

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More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar

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