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What are endorphins?

Endorphins are chemicals the body naturally produces in response to stimuli like pain, stress or fear. Called neurotransmitters, these chemicals are a key part of the central nervous system, passing along signals between neurons in areas of the brain responsible for controlling emotion, releasing feelings of pleasure, and blocking pain. Depending on the situation, endorphins either can issue calm signals or ratchet up their urgency. The body produces at least 20 different endorphins, originating from areas such as the spinal cord and pituitary gland.

Endorphins are opioid molecules in the body that are similar to morphine and function to transmit signals in the brain. They are produced by areas of the brain during exercise, excitement, pain, love, and sexual activity. They resemble opiates in their abilities to reduce pain and produce a feeling of well-being.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.