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A tomato with a high serotonin content a day keeps the doctor away



Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) has two independent systems, one in the brain and the other in the periphery. As the highest serotonin levels were found in cherry tomato in 38 fruits and vegetables in Japan. Peripheral serotonin plays important roles in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism through the increasing of bile acids concentration in circulation. The intraperitoneal injection of serotonin to mice inhibits weight gain, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, and completely prevented the enlargement of intra-abdominal adipocytes when on a high fat diet, but not on a chow diet. This novel metabolic effect of peripheral serotonin is critically related to a shift in the profile of muscle fiber type from fast/glycolytic to slow/oxidative in soleus muscle.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

The foods with a high serotonin content may represent excellent dietary sources of serotonin, and serotonin action may well offer new drug strategies for developing therapeutic drugs for the treatment of metabolic diseases such as hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and obesity.


Graduate School of Agricultural Science

ASO Hisashi , Professor
Doctor of Medicine


Related Information

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