What stimulates serotonin production?

Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter found in the digestive system as well as in the central nervous system and in the blood. Its function is to transmit information between nerve cells and in this way stimulate or support various processes in the body. To keep serotonin levels within the normal range and avoid serotonin deficiency, it is important that the body produces enough serotonin on a regularbasis.

Serotonin is formed from the essential amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid is essential because the body cannot produce it itself, but relies on it entering the organism through food. Tryptophan is found, for example, in nuts, cheese, fish and red meat. Eating them can stimulate serotonin production.

What drives serotonin production?


A healthy diet is important for many reasons, but one of them is that it can stimulate serotonin production. In particular, the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, plays an important role. It is converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin. Tryptophan is found in nuts and cheese, but also in fish and red meat. Other nutrients important for serotonin production are vitamin B6, which is found in numerous vegetables (e.g. avocado, green beans, lentils, cabbage) as well as in fish, poultry and liver. Regular consumption of fish, especially salmon and mackerel, provides the body with the important omega-3 fatty acids, which also stimulate serotonin production and promote its release [1].

What promotes serotonin production?

There are several factors that stimulate and promote serotonin production, one of which is exercise. According to studies, exercise promotes serotonin release in the brain [2], although the exact mechanism of action is still unclear. However, there is evidence that serotonin not only influences mood, but that mood can apparently also have a reverse effect on serotonin production [3]. This could be a possible explanation for why certain activities such as sports, which produce feelings of well-being and happiness, are associated with increased serotonin concentrations.

Serotoninproduktion anregen

Bright light also seems to be able to stimulate serotonin production. Studies show that serotonin production and release in the brain changes depending on the season and time of day [4]. Daylight lamps, for example, which are used against the so-called winter blues and are supposed to stimulate serotonin production, are based on this effect.

Conclusion on serotonin production

Serotonin fulfills many important tasks in the body, so it is important to avoid a serotonin deficiency. Serotonin production can be stimulated and promoted via a healthy diet, regular exercise and bright light. Although the influencing factors and mechanisms of action of serotonin production have not yet been clarified in every detail, the positive effects of the measures mentioned have often been observed in scientific studies.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25713056/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18043762/
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18043767/
[ 4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12480364/