HowStuffWorks "What are endorphins?"

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** What are endorphins? **

by Tom Scheve

· Page
· 1

What are endorphins?

· 2

Endorphins and Emotions

· 3

Endorphin Triggers

· 4

Lots More Information

·

The body's own opiate can give you a feeling of euphoria.

©iStockphoto.com/kevinruss

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It's not uncommon to hear someone talk about getting an "endorphin rush."
Sex, exercise, even hot peppers -- all sorts of things are credited for
these euphoric highs. So what are endorphins, and are they really
responsible for our feelings of excitement or satisfaction?

In the early 1970s, researchers were studying how the brain is affected by
opiates, such as heroin or morphine. They found that opiates interact with
specialized receptors in cells that are primarily massed in the brain and
spinal cord. When opiates enter these receptors, they hinder or block the
cell's transmission of pain


Source: science.howstuffworks.com/life/endorphins.htm


what are endorphins


Endorphins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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** Endorphins **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Endorphins (disambiguation).
Chemical structure of /alpha/-Neoendorphin (α-Neoendorphin)

*Endorphins* ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that
function as neurotransmitters.^[1] They are produced by the pituitary gland
and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise,^[2]excitement, pain,
consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm,^[3]^[4] and they resemble the
opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of
well-being.

The term implies a pharmacological activity (analogous to the activity of
the corticosteroid category of biochemicals) as opposed to a specific
chemical formulation. It consists of two parts: /endo-/ and /-orphin/;
these are short forms of the words /endogenous/ and /morphine,/ intended to
mean "a morphine-like substance originating from within the body."^[5]

The term "endorphin rush" has been adopted in popular speech to refer to a
feeling of exhilaration that can be brought on by pain, danger, or other
forms of stress,^[2] supposedly due to the influence of endorphins. When a
nerve impulse reaches the spinal cord, endorphins that prevent nerve cells
from releasing more pain signals are released.

*Contents*

· 1 History
· 2 Mechanism of action
· 3 Activity

· 3.1 Runner's high
· 3.2 Depersonalization disorder
· 3.3 Relaxation
· 3.4 Acupuncture
· 3.5 Pregnancy

· 4 Etymology
· 5 References
· 6 External links

*History[edit]*

Opioid neuropeptides were first discovered in 1974 by two independent
groups of investigators:

· John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz of Scotland isolated — from the
brain of a pig — what some called enkephalins (from the Greek
εγκέφαλος, /cerebrum/).^[6]^[7]

· Around the same time, in a calf brain, Rabi Simantov and Solomon H.
Snyder of the United States found^[8] what


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphins

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