Science

Study Finds That This Simple Thing Can Reduce Pain 6 Times More Than Morphine

A kiss a day apparently keeps the doctor away!

One of the simplest ways to express feelings of affection and say I love you is kissing. This is a universal language that doesn’t need translation to send its message. But, did you know that kissing could also have some amazing health benefits?

Kissing releases all types of endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals in the body, which have proven to be even more powerful than morphine to relieve pain.

Furthermore, recently, a study showed that there are extremely powerful, untested pharmaceuticals in your mouth. Your saliva contains opiorphin, a natural painkiller which is around six times more powerful than morphine. The study originally discovered the existence of opiorphin through studying rats.

Scientists found out that rat saliva produced a natural painkiller called sialorphin. And since rats are similar to humans in many ways, they began wondering if human saliva contained its own painkiller.

After testing human saliva, researchers found out about opiorphin, a very simple and effective painkiller. It works by averting the breakdown of little chemicals called enkephalins which stimulate the body’s opiate receptors, thus blocking pain signals. Nevertheless, nobody knows yet why such a powerful painkiller is actually in the saliva.

Scientists compared rat reactions on opiorphin and on different quantities of morphine. While some tests included simple flicks on tails, others had the rats calk on upward-facing pins. However, the pins weren’t sharp enough to actually hurt the rats and this test was more like walking on a “bed of nails”. When walking across this pin-covered surface, rats exhibited reduced acute pain and required six times the amount of morphine as opiorphin to comfortably walk across it.

Researchers have previously attempted to create synthetic compounds to perform the same function of protecting enkephalins, without much success. According to Sandy McKnight, a former associate director of the Parke-Davis Neuroscience Research Centre in Cambridge, UK, the painkiller has been tested but hasn’t been used in a clinical trial. He also warned that it has unknown side-effects.

“The area has already been thoroughly researched. In spite of this effort, no such drug has yet reached clinical trial, and it is unlikely that the description of opiorphin will be seen as much of a stimulus for chemists to redouble their efforts.”

Therefore, opiorphin is a promising painkiller found in our saliva. And since we know that when you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth, a kiss would be a perfect way to heal your pain.

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