You probably think that your cells define you as a human being. But did you know that the commensal bacteria on your skin, your gut, your lungs, and a host of other places, outnumber your own cells? You are in fact, made out of more bacteria than human cells. It’s no surprise then, that the bacteria in your gut can influence your mental and physical health.
While most people think that serotonin receptors are only found in the brain, this is incorrect. The majority of serotonin receptors are actually found in the digestive tract. The expression “I have a gut feeling” probably isn’t too far from the physiological truth. Serotonin is produced by both gut bacteria and specialized cells called enterochromaffin cells. This is why going on antibiotics or Prednisone can change your mood. Change the bacteria and you change the amount of serotonin that’s available.*
Of course, what you eat also influences bacterial growth. You know that expression, “You are what you eat”? It’s very true, in more ways than one! The food you eat is broken down into macromolecules to rebuild your organs, but it also feeds your gut microbiome. Different foods can cause different populations to outcompete others, thus affecting serotonin levels. It’s crazy that the more scientists learn about your gut, the more we’re starting to see that being human isn’t as simple as it seems.
Whether you’re conducting research about the brain-gut-microbiome axis or you’re simply fascinated by this topic, we have a collection of various types of serotonin accessories to help you express this unique interest. Of course serotonin doesn’t work alone, so we also made sure to pair it with its oft-mentioned friend, dopamine.
*Amongst many other chemicals