What do endorphins do?

Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
The human body produces at least 20 different endorphins. Endorphins are produced by the body and can create a natural high. Endorphins affect the body and the mind in several ways: they relieve pain, they reduce stress, they enhance the immune system, they activate natural killer cells that boost the immune system against cancer cells and other diseases, and they delay the aging process.
A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

More About this Book

A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

Nautilus Book Awards Winners for 2007 (category: Self-Help/Psychology/ Personal Growth) "Like many people, Kathleen Hall found that despite great success and material wealth, she had yet to identify...

Endorphins perform several functions, but their best-known one is acting as a painkiller and a reward, causing a feeling of euphoria. Endorphins lock onto cells called opioid receptors, blocking the transmission of pain signals. Everyone has different triggers for endorphins, but common stimuli are pain, food and sex.

Continue Learning about Functions of the Nervous System

What are neurotransmitter receptors?
Howard J. Shaffer, PhDHoward J. Shaffer, PhD
Neurotransmitter receptors are structures (usually proteins) on the surfaces of cells that recog...
More Answers
What is the enteric nervous system?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
Dr. Jack Wood, a physiologist at The Ohio State University, has dubbed the enteric nervous system th...
More Answers
What is emergence?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
Emergence is the term used for the process of pattern formation in a complex system. The pattern is ...
More Answers
How do our bodies react to music?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
In addition to the many ways music activates the brain, neurological studies show that happy tunes, ...
More Answers

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.