Let’s go inside our brains and take a deeper look at our command center.
The Benefits of Dopamine and Serotonin
Our brains are a fascinating peace of work by our awesome creator. The center of the nervous system, our brains have over a hundred billion neurons (which EACH have one hundred trillion synaptic connections) all in constant communication with one another. This very complex organ holds so may secrets that we have yet to unlock. This brain of ours is five times larger that any other mammals and is enclosed by the skull, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid and separated from the bloodstream by the blood-brain barrier. Even with all of this protection it is still very susceptible to disease and damage. Inside of our brains we have what is called Neurotransmitters. The Neurotransmitters are a group of at least forty low molecular weight endogenous water soluble hormones (proteins) formed within neurons. These neurotransmitters are stored in and released from the presynaptic membrane of the synaptic bulb of the axon of neurons to transmit nerve impulses across synapses (synaptic clefts) and are then received by (and bind to) receptors specific to each type of neurotransmitter on the dendrites of other neurons. We have two primary neurotransmitters and they are Dopamine and Serotonin.
Dopamine is and important catecholamine monoamine neurotransmitter that affects the immune system, our metabolism (may increase the body’s basal metabolic rate), the muscuolskeletal system in the growth and repair of tissues, the nervous system (Alzheimer’s and ADHD patients may exhibit depleted levels of dopamine), and numerous regions of the brain. It is the most important neurotransmitter in the limbic system. Over 80% of the brain’s total content of dopamine concentrates in the basal ganglia. Dopamine governs the function of may of the neurons within the ventral tegmentum of the mid brain. It causes our dreams to be more vivid and primal. It is the principal neurotransmitter responsible for the emotion of euphoria. It is essential for the correct function of the hypothalamus and a deficiency of dopamine has been implicated as a contributory factor in narcolepsy. Optima dopamine levels are required for good moods. It has an affect on our sexual system. It is the primary amine found in the penis – where it my stimulate ejaculation and erections. Dopamine transmission is involved in sexual desire. The increased dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain is associate with the increased male sexual desire. Dopamine stimulates the release of the LHRH (Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone) from the hypothalamus. It may increase the release of the hGH (Human Growth Hormone) and indirectly stimulate the production of testosterone. Here is a list of a few of the substances that may enhance the production of dopamine: Caffeine, Nicotine, Synephrine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Copper, Magnesium, Carnitine, Co Q10, Vitamin B6 (required for the production of dopamine), Vitamin C, Ginkgo biloba, Ginseng and St. Johns Wort. The following substance may interfere with or cause depletion of the body’s Dopamine: Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, Monoamine Oxidase Type B, Aluminum, Major Tranquilizers, Methamphetamines, and Amphetamines. Excessive levels of Dopamine may cause aggressiveness, irritability and Schizophrenia. Our Dopamine levels remain relatively stable up to the age of 45, and as with a lot of other things, the production of dopamine declines along with the aging process. After the age of 45 the average level of dopamine (in healthy people) declines in a linear fashion by approximately 13% every 10 years. If the brain’s level of dopamine falls to 30% of youthful levels, the progression of Parkinson’s Disease commences and if it falls to 10% of our youthful levels then death will occur.