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Serotonin, Stool

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter associated with the Central and Enteric Nervous Systems. It is produced by a biochemical conversion process in which the amino acid tryptophan, a component of proteins, combines with the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase to produce 5-hydroxytryptamine.

It is usually called the happy hormone because it contributes to well-being and happiness. A decrease in its level has been seen in various mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Apart from this, serotonin has another crucial role in gut motility. The microorganisms present in the gut are capable of synthesizing 5-HT, but this bacterial production is far exceeded by biosynthesis in Enterochromaffin (EC) Cells. Alternatively, these microbes help regulate the gut and plasma 5-HT levels by providing signals to the host mucosal cells through Tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) expression.

Luminal 5-HT is required for intestinal supplement and water assimilation, impacting bicarbonate and electrolyte discharge into the lumen. By stimulating 5-HT3 receptors on intestinal vagal afferent nerve endings, EC-cell–derived 5-HT increases postprandial pancreatic protein release synergistically with cholecystokinin. This, in turn, improves the absorption and assimilation of additional luminal secretion. Gastrointestinal 5-HT increases bile activity by increasing the expression of the apical sodium-dependent bile salt transporter. As such, 5-HT may act as a referee for several impacts credited to both 5-HT and Glucagon-Like Peptide-2.

Serotonin and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Numerous studies were done to legitimize the relationship between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the lack of serotonin synthesis and release.

Researchers examined that a decrease in the production of intestinal serotonin leads to the weakening of the intestinal lining, which inevitably results in clogging or constipation and an increment in serotonin levels within the gut 

IBS and its symptoms primarily impact daily activities and body image and are a cause of worry for patients. Fifty to 90% of IBS patients have a co-existing psychological condition reminiscent of anxiety or depression.

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