November 14, 2006
The human body produces a natural painkiller several times more potent than morphine, research suggests.
When given to rats, the chemical, called opiorphin, was able to curb pain at much lower concentration than the powerful painkiller morphine.
The French team said their findings could be lead to new pain treatments.
But other scientists were unsure of the significance of the work, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The significance of these findings for pain control is.. still uncertain
john Wood, UCL
The researchers isolated the chemical in human saliva, although they believe it may also be present in other parts of the body.