Dopamine is a strong neurotransmitter in the brain. Also called the “feel good
hormone”, dopamine determines how we feel pleasure. Dopamine affects how we feel, but it can also affect a lot of functions in our bodies, from how our body moves, our moods, and even our memory. Here are some things you might not know about the “feel good hormone”:
- Dopamine helps you feel alert! A study showed that those are sleep deprived have less dopamine binding to their receptors in the brain.
- Dopamine affects your motor control! Too much dopamine can cause body tics and other small, uncontrollable movements. If you don’t have enough dopamine, movements can become uncoordinated.
- Foods can actually give you dopamine boosts! Foods (like cheese, nuts, and chicken) that have L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine increase levels of dopamine because they convert into dopamine. Studies have also shown that foods that are high in sugar increase dopamine levels for a short time. This spike and the following dopamine crash can lead to addictive behaviors towards food.
- Massages can alter dopamine levels! Research has shown that dopamine and serotonin increase during massages, and cortisol (the “stress hormone”) decreases.
- Thirty percent of the United States population has a genetic dopamine deficiency! This genetic disorder has been coined “Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)”. RDS means that one has lower than normal dopamine disorders and is more likely to develop harmful behaviors.
Reward Deficiency Syndrome is part of the science behind the MyGenx® GARS® test. This one-of-a-kind genetic test (and the only genetic test to receive a patent in the United States) can help you understand if you have a genetic risk for developing addictive, compulsive and impulsive behaviors. And there’s even better news! MyGenx® also has restoreGen®, a neuro-nutrient that helps balance the brain’s chemistry and reduce cravings, dopamine crashes, and stress!