Beta-endorphin is produced by the pituitary gland and is purported to produce a greater sense of exhilaration, or “high,” than all of the other endorphin types. The polypeptide contains 31 amino acids, a significantly greater number than either alpha- or gamma-endorphins, both of which are substances that it may readily breakdown into. Also often said to have an opiate effect on the body, beta-endorphin is generally believed to provide substantial natural pain relief and has been heavily researched in recent years. Though findings are inconclusive as of yet, some scientists believe that it is the significant production of this substance during times of stress that prevent a person that has suddenly lost a leg or undergone a similar event from immediately feeling pain. Such a possibility gives those searching for powerful alternatives to traditional analgesics a bright ray of hope.

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