Endorphins are brain chemicals made by the endocrine system. Endorphins are called anti stress proteins. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus produce endorphins when the body is in pain, excited or exercising. They work much like opiods in that they cause a sense of well-being and reduce pain and stress. They are natural painkillers. Endorphins also play a role in modulating appetite, enhancing immune response and euphoric feeling.
The polypeptide chain of the endorphin is made up of 3 to 39 amino acids. Structurally endorphins are similar to morphine and hence the term endogenous morphine was coined. However, these endorphins have similar prototypes called enkephalins and dynorphins. Endorphins facilitate the mechanism of pain reduction in the body. These protein molecules play analgesic role in cohesion with receptors called opioids in the brain cord causing pain relief. Endorphins are also called as natural analgesics and they have a very significant effect on the nervous system.
Endorphins are released by the nervous system hence; they are also called neuropeptides. Endorphins also possess neuro transmitter functionality. The prototypes of endorphins have smaller structure however, dynorphin facilitates potent sedation which is stronger than the effect of endorphin. The action of endorphins has very high significance in important situations during childbirth.
The bodies of living organisms have a unique mechanism of pain management to which the production of endorphins contribute in a major way. The series of events that occur in the body proactively triggers the brain to produce endorphins in order to effectively subside the pain and stress produced. However, fear is the only form of human expression that has a tendency to inhibit the endorphin production from the brain.
The external pain generated is transmitted to the brain and spinal cord in a series of sensory and motor responses. This triggers the release of endorphins from the brain, immediately to reduce the pain. In addition, endorphins are associated with inducing the production of various hormones such as the growth hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and thyrotropin. Endorphins reduce muscle wasting and depression. Endorphins effectively facilitate the process of hydration. Endorphins are also known to enhance the control of cravings, addictive behaviors and frustrated behavior patterns. Endorphins play a vital role promoting the delay of aging process and also enhancing the immune system.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 30, 2020