Dopamine deficiency: the effect of the happiness hormone in your body

Dopamine deficiency: the effect of the happiness hormone in your body

 Those who are dopamine deficient often feel listless, have difficulty concentrating and suffer from a lack of motivation. Just like serotonin, dopamine is one of the happiness and feel-good hormones. Do you want to benefit more from these feelings of happiness and from them? Then read on now and find out how to do it.

Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. If you are dopamine deficient, it can lead to, among other things, listlessness. Because the messenger substance influences your well-being and is responsible for your feelings of happiness. In addition, your reward center in the brain is stimulated by dopamine and sometimes provides joy, lust and enthusiasm. But let's take a closer look at dopamine.


What is dopamine?

Dopamine, like serotonin, is known to many as a happiness hormone or feel-good hormone acts like a natural stimulant, which ensures a good mood. But also yours The reward system is addressed when the messenger substance is distributed and dopamine levels go up. When your dopamine levels are in the basement and you are dopamine deficient, this can manifest itself by telling you earlier unmotivated and uncomfortable feel or that your enthusiasm and drive for things are limited. But with an increased dopamine level, your body goes on a roller coaster.

Dopamine has an important influence on

  • coordination
  • Attention
  • Motivation
  • Driving force
  • Focus



The dopamine release is Part of the reward system and is reinforced through conditioning. The term conditioning is known to many through Pavlov and the classic conditioning of dogs. However, conditioning is much more than triggering a salivary reflex through a specific stimulus. We differentiate between classical (Pavlov), instrumental (Thorndike) and operant (Skinner) conditioning. In simple terms, conditioning is generally a learning process in which a combination of stimuli and behaviors is created in the nerve cells of the brain.

When you enjoy something or are enthusiastic about something, you will be encouraged to repeat this stimulus. The happiness hormone dopamine thus boosts expectations and is an important motivator for your goals.1 So it is understandable that we want to ride the dopamine wave as often as possible and provide moments of dopamine release.


Dopamine effect: what the happiness hormone does in the body and brain

The messenger substance dopamine, also called dihydroxyphenylamine, belongs like Adrenalin and norepinephrine to the catecholamines and major neurotransmitters in the body. In addition, dopamine is known to many as a happiness hormone. Neurotransmitters are the messenger substances in the brain and help you to cope with short, exciting or stressful situations. They are also responsible for this transmit certain information between synapses. This explains your lack of concentration and the lack of drive when you suffer from a dopamine deficiency.

Each neurotransmitter defines a specific system. When dopamine is released, it activates the reward center system in the brain. Like serotonin, dopamine has one longer term effectbecause they are diffusely released in a larger area of ​​synapses. As happiness hormones in the body, they have a special meaning and regulate your well-being or your sleep, among other things. Like yours Increase serotonin levels by the way, you also read in the Academy.

The neurons in the central nervous system that contain dopamine are called dopaminergic neurons. They are particularly located in the midbrain. The dopaminergic cells are involved in many places and play an important role in the control and regulation of movements as well as motivation, driving force and cognition. Dopamine also influences our hormonal system and is involved in some places in the autonomic nervous system and regulates the blood flow to internal organs in the body.


Adrenaline biosynthesis


As an intermediate product in the biosynthesis of adrenaline, dopamine is converted from the amino acids phenylalanine or tyrosinewhich contribute to the synthesis of important endogenous proteins.2, 3

When dopamine is released in the brain, the messenger substance docks to the receptors of the recipient synapse, the dopamine receptor. The receptors then signal sensations and feelings to the brain. Research has shown that higher-than-expected rewards increase desire or motivation and drive to reward. Thus, dopamine neurons are seen as a motivational substance in anticipation of rewards.4 


Dopamine deficiency and its consequences

Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our brain. Therefore, a dopamine deficiency can manifest itself in serious consequences.

Dopamine deficiency with its consequences and symptoms:

  • Movement disorders
  • fatigue
  • listlessness
  • Motivation and lack of drive
  • cognitive performance deficits
  • depressive moods


young man has difficulty concentrating


With an extreme dopamine deficiency you can Restless Legs Syndrome, Parkinson's Disease, and Depression arise. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has also been linked to a lack of dopamine. Methylphenidate is often used for treatment. Methylphenidate inhibits the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline at the synaptic cleft. This increases the body's dopamine level and counteracts a deficiency.


Dopamine deficiency and its causes

What causes dopamine deficiency? The reason you are dopamine deficient could be a Nutrient deficit be. It can not only use the important amino acids Tyrosine and phenylalanine lack, but also important vitamins such as the B vitamins B6 and B12, or vitamin C. lie. If your body does not have sufficient nutrients, it will not be able to produce the important dopamine and a dopamine deficiency can result.

Dopamine deficiency can also be due to the lack of adequate dopamine receptors at the synapses. If your nerve cells do not have sufficient binding sites for dopamine, the transmission of stimuli is disturbed.

But chronic stress can also be the cause of your dopamine balance being out of balance, the lack of happiness hormones and dopamine deficiency.


woman is happy and smiles


Dopamine Deficiency: Tips On How To Increase Your Dopamine Naturally

If you want to declare war on your dopamine deficiency, you can improve your well-being and mood with a few tips have a positive effect and naturally increase the release of dopamine.

The most important factor in avoiding dopamine deficiency is a nutrient-rich and balanced diet. You can actively influence a healthy dopamine level. However, to do this, your body needs sufficient nutrients to produce dopamine.

The most important nutrients are the following amino acids and vitamins

  • tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C

 In Ayurveda, diseases that are caused by a too low dopamine level and are associated with a dopamine deficiency are treated with the pruritus bean (Mucuna pruriens). The prurubean is an important source of L-DOPA. L-DOPA is the preliminary stage of dopamine and can cross the blood-brain barrier, increasing the dopamine content and fighting a dopamine deficiency.


Couple cooks healthy and balanced together


More dopamine with the right diet

With a balanced diet that contains nutrients such as L-tyrosine, phenylalanine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin C, you can effectively counteract a dopamine deficiency and ensure that more dopamine is released in your body. This includes foods like

  • dried soybeans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • Lenses
  • Chicken breast fillet
  • beef
  • potatoes
  • Camembert
  • coalfish
  • Lemon
  • Acerola


You can see the most important nutrient sources in our overview:

The most important sources of nutrients for the production of dopamine at a glance


Dopamine deficiency: Increase dopamine with exercise

Exercise and exercise help to increase dopamine levels and improve mood. According to studies, improvements in mood can already be observed after 10 minutes of aerobic activity highest after at least 20 minutes.5 Another study, which lasted 3 months, found that doing yoga for an hour six days a week significantly increased dopamine levels.6

More research is needed to determine which exercise is the most effective way to increase dopamine to determine the intensity, type, and duration of exercise. However, the current research is very promising.


Meditate - take time for yourself

In addition to nutrition, meditation can also be an important factor for your well-being. There are many different forms that we can practice while sitting, lying, standing or walking.

Applied correctly, studies with meditation have shown an influence on neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, GABA and glutamate were increased. Cortisol and norepinephrine, which are often associated with stress, decreased what Meditation becomes an effective stress killer power.7


woman meditates in the sunlight


Especially at the beginning, it may not be so easy for you to bring your body and mind into a state of relaxation. It is possible that you will be restless and tense at the beginning. But don't worry, you can easily learn that with practice.

As soon as the activating messenger substances are released at the beginning of the meditation, you will feel how you can let go more and more over time and relax. If you are calm, alert and focused, your stress level and yours will be reduced Stress hormones such as cortisol are broken down. Your blood vessels widen and your blood pressure and heart rate drop. This will give you a strong feeling of happiness and relaxed satisfaction.


Set goals and work through to-do lists

Who does not know the feeling of inner satisfaction when a smile spreads on your face and you can breathe out forcefully?

Record your goals that you want to achieve and write yourself a to-do list to achieve them. Also write down all of your tasks that you have to do and check the box when they are finished. This not only brings you feelings of happiness thanks to the dopamine release, but also helps you with your time management.

Sit down on the way to your goal Milestones to celebrate your driving force and your successes in the meantime. This changes your mindset and you do not rest on your previously achieved goals, but want to achieve more and more. Every achieved goal triggers a dopamine release in your body and increases the desire for happiness hormones, which motivates you to master more tasks and challenges.




The happiness hormone dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters for our body. If we have too little of the messenger substance, we have a dopamine deficiency. In addition to an unbalanced diet, chronic stress is one of the biggest factors in dopamine deficiencywhich we can actively influence.

In case of stress, you can bring yourself back into balance with the help of relaxation techniques, meditation or yoga. Studies have found an increase in activity in motivational and reward areas in people who meditate. Furthermore, among other things, the regions that control attention and control emotions were also claimed. Meditation can even induce changes in the physiology of the brain.8

In addition, one helps you optimal time management, increasing your dopamine level and triggering happiness hormones by completing tasks and achieving personal goals and take your well-being and mood to the next level.









[8] https://dfme-achtstä mindfulness.pdf


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