This knowledge of how serotonin affects the brain has been know for a long time and is the application of these principles that has led to development of drugs such as antidepressant medications. Medication used to cure depression works by altering the level of serotonin in the body by way of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors mechanism, referred as SSRI’s that have been proven to be effective in treating depression (Lowinson et al).

Antidepressants medications have been developed to treat depression by interfering with the activities of neurotransmitters. In the same way that drugs interferes with serotonin levels in the brain so does some types of food; serotonin levels are affected by foods such as proteins and carbohydrates. Protein for instance provides tryptophan which is the raw material needed to manufacture serotonin (Lowinson et al). Carbohydrates are also necessary as they facilitate the absorption of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain (Lowinson et al). In fact it has been documented that serotonin secretion is triggered by eating carbohydrate which is why it is at times recommended to persons experiencing depression.

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Exercise is also known to facilitate the uptake of serotonin by the body cells thereby improving the mood and lifting depression (Lowinson et al). The effects of serotonin in the body are varied and reduced levels in men are known to cause alcoholism, ADHD and impulse control disorders. In women it leads to depression, tension and a high level of alertness (Lowinson et al). During sex, reduced levels of serotonin delays ejaculation and orgasm and can cause loss of libido and difficulties in getting aroused (Lowinson et al). Because dopamine is an integral chemical in the functioning of serotonin let us briefly discuss it.