It's Official: Happiness Can Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Kelsey Clark
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Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Scientists have long speculated about the connection between serotonin and fat burn, but a new study from The Scripps Research Institute has made it official. After experimenting on roundworms, whose brains produce similar "signaling molecules" as humans, the researchers found that a hormone called flip 7 actually triggers a receptor in your intestines, and begins turning fat into energy.

Flip 7 is released after your brain produces serotonin, the feel-good chemical, in response to a pleasant sensory cue, like meditating or working out. "This was basic science that unlocked an interesting mystery," said senior study author professor Supriya Srinivasan to Science Daily. "That was a big moment for us."

What's more interesting is that this hormone selectively stimulates your metabolism regardless of which foods you eat. So in other words, you can continue to reap the benefits of flip 7 without changing your diet—you simply have to trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. Scientifically-proven methods of doing so include laughter, sex, art, and spending time outside in the sunlight. While more research must be conducted before we fully understand this effect in humans, Srinivasan believes flip 7 provides a hopeful fat-burning alternative to manipulating overall serotonin levels in the brain.

Head over to Science Daily for the full breakdown, and share your thoughts on the new research below!

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