Chocoholics please don’t read any further if your reasoning for your addiction is that chocolate is scientifically proven to make you happy.
While it does contain Phenylethylamine, the same hormone the brain triggers when you fall in love, there is no link to this actually making you happy.
However scientists have for the first time identified a link between a person’s level of happiness and a particular gene. Yes that’s right happiness is hereditary.
So for those of you still being accused of being stroppy teenagers well into your twenties it really is all your parents fault for once.
The gene, 5-HTT (could come up in a table quiz one day), controls how the chemical serotonin is delivered to the brain. Serotonin plays a part in feelings of well-being.
The gene has a variant which can be either long or short. The long version is more efficient, resulting in more serotonin transporters in the brain cell membrane.
Science people you will know this already but for those of us that don’t, there are three variations, which can be long-long, long-short or short-short. The long-long version is the most efficient.
In the study, by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, people were asked the question “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole?” with five possible answers; very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, very dissatisfied or neither.
Nearly 70% of those with the long-long version were very satisfied or satisfied, compared to only 40% of those with the short-short version.
Having at least one long variant resulted in an increase of 8.5% in the chances of the person being satisfied compared to those with the short-short version.
26% of those with the short-short version were dissatisfied, contrasting with only 20% who have the long-long version.
For generations people have been searching for happiness in all the wrong places, career, family, friends, love life when all they had to do was look at their DNA.
If this discovery hasn’t cheered you up just remember six out of the seven dwarves weren’t happy either.