For endorphins (Endomorphins) are neuropeptides, i.e. proteins formed by nerve cells. The name "endorphin" means "endogenous morphine", which means the body's own morphine (pain reliever). Altogether there are three different types of hormones, with beta-endorphins being the best researched:

  • alpha endorphins
  • beta endorphins
  • gamma endorphins

The following illustration relates to beta-endorphins.


The places where endorphins are formed Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland, where these Hormones from a precursor protein, the proopiomelanocortin (POMC). The POMC is in Hypothalamus formed, in the pituitary gland, in addition to other substances (ACTH, MSH, lipotropin) Endorphins (beta-endorphin) split off.

Corresponding receptors are Opiate receptors (Opioid receptors), which belong to the group of cell surface receptors. You are on Spinal cord, in the brain, in the autonomic nervous system and probably in other structures of the body.


The term endorphins is short for "Endogenous morphine". That means endorphins are from a certain part of the Brain (endogenous = body own) manufactured substances, which above all pain reliever (Morphine = Painkillers) work.

Beta-endorphins bind µ1-, on µ2-, on M- and on KReceptors, which all belong to the opiate receptors. The strongest affinity (Striving to bind) exists to µ1 receptors, followed by µ2 and M receptors. There is only a very low affinity for K receptors.

The endorphins formed reach their receptors in the brain and in the rest of the body. in the Spinal cord all sensations from our body are directed to the brain. Here the effect of the endorphins mainly takes place via µ1 receptorswhich are located at certain interconnection points of the nerves (Presynapses) of the spinal cord. At these presynapses, information is passed on between two nerves via the release of Messenger substances (Neurotransmitters) how GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) or Dopamine.

The endorphin binding to the presynaptic μ-receptors prevents the release of GABA and increases the release of dopamine. This is how the sensitivity from pain-conducting nerve endings in the spinal cord degraded and the Pain no longer perceived by the brain. By docking with the receptors To block the endorphins so the Forwarding the information to our brain that usually tells us our injury is hurting. So we don't feel the pain that much.


Endorphins have pain reliever (analgesic) and calming Effect and make people so less sensitive to stress.

she promote hunger, participate in the Manufacture of sex hormones and have a positive effect on you deep and peaceful sleep out.

It also affects the endorphins vegetative processes like body temperature or bowel motility. Also becomes a reinforcing Modulating the immune system described by these hormones. The making of euphoria is also attributed to the endorphins.


The endorphin release is mainly due to Stress and pain stimulates. Endorphins are formed and released in emergency situations, among other things, to reduce the sensation of pain. The payout also depends on physical activity and psychological factors from. Moments of happiness, rewards, touch, social contacts or a strong laugh can, for example, increase endorphin production. This is why endorphins are also known colloquially as ’Happiness hormones’.

Even with stimuli to ACTH distribution, which arises from the common precursor protein POMC, the endorphin level increases.

Certain measures can increase the body's endorphin secretion. These include acupuncture, massage, Sexual intercourse or meditation. An increase in the release of endorphins is also suspected by the ingredient Capsaicinwhich occurs in spicy foods and which has a form of pain receptors (Capsaicin receptors) binds.

Endorphins in Sports

Usually can any kind of sportwhether jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, mountaineering or other activities positive for the body's own endorphin production impact. It is assumed that prolonged physical exertion with moderate to high intensity releases endorphins.

Since exercise is strenuous for the body and the heart has to pump faster, endorphins are formed in the brain and distributed throughout the body. These then have a calming effect and reduce the stress on the body. It can often be observed that marathon runners can finish the competition without major problems despite an injury. Long-distance runners can also do the so-called ’Runner’s High’ (Runner's elation) experience. This means that despite exhaustion and exceeding their physical limits, they can continue to run and a feeling of elation (euphoria) is triggered. The reason for this is the endorphins. she reduce the pain, Act reassuring and reduce stress.

Everyone who does sport knows that you feel good all around after sport. The endorphins formed here ensure that feelings of happiness arise, that one is in a good mood and is very hungry.

Endorphins for depression

A depression is mostly dependent on many different factors. The diet can play a major role in this. The brain needs a lot of high quality nutrients. If there is a lack of it, this is reflected in the typical signs such as tiredness, indolence, irritability and listlessness.

In order to counteract depression, above all the body's own must Endorphin reservoir restored to create feelings of happiness and euphoria in those affected. On the one hand, it can do a lot Exercise and healthy eating be achieved, on the other hand social contacts, rewards and a lot Laugh.


As is well known, one says colloquially that Chocolate makes you happy. The reason for this assumption is that chocolate Release endorphins in the brain that have a euphoric effect. From childhood memories, chocolate is positively associated and represents a kind reward which in turn the Promotes endorphin production.