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To describe the well-known dopamine purely as a “happiness hormone” ignores many of its important functions. It can be called a “learning hormone” because its release in the so-called dopaminergic system in the brain motivates us, for example, to carry out certain behaviors (such as eating, movement control, working memory…) as well as “patterns” that feel “good”. , to repeat.
If we feel listless, for example when we are sick, this also has to do with the fact that inflammation disrupts this dopaminergic system. Likewise in the case of chronic inflammation, which is closely related to our microbiome.
By reducing the release of dopamine, our body strives to optimize its energy consumption during such inflammatory episodes as it requires more energy to heal wounds and infections, both of which are associated with inflammation, thereby supporting the immune system.
To ensure that enough energy is available, our brain reduces the drive to do other tasks because they would take up too much of the energy needed to heal.
This is essentially a kind of “recalibration” of the specialized reward neurons in the brain's motivation center, so that normal tasks no longer feel like they are worthwhile.
According to a new study, the mechanism of this recalibration is triggered by an immune-mediated disruption of the dopamine pathway, which reduces dopamine release.
Immune cells release cytokines (cellular signaling molecules) that affect the function of dopamine-releasing neurons, reducing our willingness to work hard.
In order to remain functional, motivated and healthy in everyday life, it is therefore all the more important to keep our microbiome and intestinal mucosa in good shape with the right diet, exercise and sufficient sleep, as these are also closely linked to inflammatory processes (leaky gut)!
☀️ So, in this beautiful summer weather, how about a walk in the fresh air or a cooling yogurt cup with berries? Your intestinal flora and immune system will thank you! ☺️
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical information or instructions. The recipes are intended for inspiration and are not intended as therapeutic measures. If you have any health problems, we recommend that you contact a doctor or other expert immediately.