What Is Dopamine And Factors Affecting Dopamine Levels In The Body

Dopamine levels can improve the brain function. Know which factors can hamper dopamine level in the body.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 24, 2021Updated at: May 27, 2021
What Is Dopamine And Factors Affecting Dopamine Levels In The Body

Emotions are an indispensable part of our personality. In a nation like India where people take majority of their decisions by emotions, it will be safe to claim that emotions play big role in anticipating a cause. But do you know where do these emotions come from?The sources of these emotions are hormones which are transmitted through our brain to different parts of our body. Dopamine is responsible for creating positive emotions in our body that increase the functions and keep the body healthy. Let us know in what means dopamine is useful and what can cause loss in dopamine levels.

Here's all you need to know about dopamine by Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow.

What is Dopamine?

It is a neurotransmitter which sends signal to brain with the help of chemicals. Whenever you have that ‘good feeling’ and get excited about something, it is then when dopamine is released in your body. It helps in neurological and physiological functioning and contributes to a number of factors. Dopamine is associated with the majority of positive emotions such as excitement, pleasure and happiness. However it is much more complex than it seems. This complexity helps the body perform tasks in a much better way. Dopamine levels can rise when you have your favourite food, go shopping, or indulge in activities that make you happy. 


Benefits of High Dopamine Level In the Body

Apart from ‘feel good’ factor, it has lot more attached to it. High levels of dopamine in the body help the body to perform tasks more efficiently and increase the productivity. It improves the health to a level where it reduces the risk of having numerous diseases and disorder. Dopamine levels can improve on these following conditions-

  • Blood Flow
  • Digestive functioning
  • Heart and kidney function 
  • Improves memory
  • Elevates mood and emotions
  • Improves motor control
  • Helps in processing pain
  • Pancreatic functioning and insulin level
  • Sleep
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves executive functioning 

If you consider these conditions, you can imagine the aid which high level of dopamine levels can provide to improve your health. These functions are responsible for the body to work efficiently and dopamine can increase its efficiency. However it is important to understand that it does need help of other hormones as well such as serotonin and adrenaline. 

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What Causes Low Dopamine Levels In The Body?

Looking at the benefits of dopamine it is important to know about the factors that can reduce the level of dopamine in the body. This can cause serious damage to health and reduce efficiency of brain function. Further it can also affect the functioning of other organs. Dopamine levels can be affected by obesity, sleep deprivation, drug abuse, saturated fat and stress. Let us know how these factors can influence dopamine levels.


It is a cause of numerous diseases and health conditions. Dopamine is also one of them; obese people have lower levers of dopamine production in their body. The D2 receptors present in brain are less in obese people. These receptors reduce the production of dopamine in the body and hence the obese person has lower level of dopamine in comparison to healthy people.


Sleep Deprivation 

Dopamine is one of the reasons you wake up fresh and energetic in the morning. When a person is deprived off sleep, the receptors responsible for dopamine production are not able to transmit signals efficiently to the brain. This reduces the dopamine levels in the body. D2 receptors mediate the function of dopamine. 

Drug Abuse

Drugs are tricky when it comes to dopamine levels. Although some of the drugs increase dopamine levels in the body but gradually dopamine reduces with long term usage. When a person takes drugs, he feels very good about it which is due to sudden increase to dopamine levels. But it does not last long and drugs become an addiction. Cocaine is one such drug that produces euphoria to increase dopamine. Long term use of these drugs results to diminishing brain function and reduce efficiency to produce dopamine.

Saturated Fat

Some of our favourite food items are so delicious that just by looking at it we become happy. This is supposed to increase our dopamine levels right? It does but only for the time being. Food like chocolates, butter paneer, fried chicken etc are mouth-watering dishes but contain saturated fats. These saturated fats hamper functioning of central nervous system which is the where dopamine is produced. This process results in dopamine deficit in the body over time.

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It is well known by majority of people that stress has negative impact on your health. Stress factors such as poor relationships, financial difficulties and workplace stress makes us vulnerable to poor dopamine levels. In stress we often neglect our food, people and work. This creates negative emotions in our brain which decreases the dopamine levels in the body. Long period of stress may also result in deficiency of neurotransmitter in the body.


Complications of Low Dopamine Level

Lower levels of dopamine can also result in other mental health disorders which may affect the health adversely and result in critical health conditions. Disorders which can get effected from lower dopamine levels are-

  • Schizophrenia
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease


Dopamine is very beneficial for our health as it improves the brain function and aids different body functions. It is based on the positive emotions of the person which can come from doing different tasks and give rewards. This happiness makes the body health and reduces risk of many diseases. However some factors may hamper the level of dopamine in the body. These factors can be stress, obesity, sleep deprivation and saturated food. By avoiding these conditions one can improve his dopamine levels. Exercise and pro-biotic also aids dopamine levels in the body.

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