Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Endorphins are hormones that can help reduce pain, regulate hormones, and inhibit cancer growth. Along with its health benefits, endorphins also have their drawback. Continue reading below to learn more about these hormones.


Endorphins are a group of hormones that are released by the brain. They can be released during exercise, periods of pain and stress, and other activities (R).

The pituitary gland and the central nervous system produce these hormones (R).

These hormones are also involved in eating, drinking, sex, and maternal behavior (R).

Health Benefits of Endorphins

1) Endorphins Are Natural Painkillers

Pain and other stressors cause part of the brain (pituitary gland) to release an endorphin (R).

When acting on the nerve cells to lessen discomfort, the endorphins bind to specialized receptors. This helps reduce the amount of pain felt (R).

Painkillers that are opioids mimic endorphins produced in the body competing with them for available binding spots at the receptor sites (R).

2) Endorphins Decrease Stress

The brain releases endorphins to help combat stress. They help control the body’s response to stress (R).

3) Endorphins Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth

Endorphin production prevents the spread of tumor growths in the lungs (R).

This hormone could potentially have broad treatment applications for patients with cancer, chronic stress, as well as impaired immune function (R).

It also helps prevent breast cancer growth and helps cancer patients live longer (R).

Rats with fetal alcohol exposure succumbed more easily to lung tumors until exposed to endorphins (R).

4) Endorphins Help Regulate Hormones

In fish, endorphins secreted from specific areas of the brain may have a role in inhibiting cells that produce other hormones (luteinizing hormone) (R).

Endorphin-treated ewes had fluctuating hormone levels (GnRH and LH). Endorphin mechanisms can carefully balance hormone levels (R).

5) Endorphins Help Treat Schizophrenia

In schizophrenic patients, the antipsychotics regimens normalize endorphin levels in the blood. The drugs helped treat schizophrenia by regulating endorphin levels (R).

Negative Effects of Endorphins

1) Endorphins Induce Inflammation

The release of endorphins in mice causes the secretion of chemicals (reactive oxygen species) that play a role in programmed cell death, cancer and aging. In the gut of these mice, the white blood cells could not send out signals that help control inflammation (R).

2) Endorphins Can Cause Prader-Willi Syndrome symptoms

Increased endorphin blood levels in children with Prader-Willi syndrome could be responsible for the increased appetite and abnormal hormone levels (R).

This causes cellular feedback loop mechanisms to not function correctly (R).


  • Beta-endorphins are proteins that are primarily synthesized by the pituitary gland in response to physiologic stressors such as pain (R).
  • They function through various mechanisms in both the central and peripheral nervous system to relieve pain when bound to their mu-opioid receptors (R).
  • β-EP transplantation also inhibited lung tumor growth in both normal and fetal alcohol exposed rats (R).
  • β-endorphin stimulates the zymosan-induced secretion of reactive oxygen species. It also suppresses the spontaneous production of IL-1β and IL-10 by murine peritoneal macrophages in vivo (R).
  • Moreover, after β-endorphin exposure, the patient isolates had significantly higher (P = .0004) phospholipase activity compared to the healthy control isolates (R).
  • These results suggest that stress-induced activation of β-EP secreting neurons in the NLT region might lead to the inhibition of LH-secreting cells-ovary axis in fish (R).
  • Insights into the three-dimensional structure of hormone fibrils are crucial for an understanding of how an amyloid structure allows the storage of hormones in secretory vesicles prior to hormone secretion into the blood stream (R).
  • Effective antipsychotic treatment results in “normalization” of BE level (R).
  • Specific changes in BE concentration could also help dopaminergic transmission and affect some symptoms of schizophrenia (R).
  • A wide range of cortisol concentrations reported in this study showed the complex dynamic patterns of the homeostatic mechanisms involved during machine milking in dairy cows (R).
  •  UV-B exposures also increase β-END expression in epidermal keratinocytes of human skin in vivo which could be the link to proposed UVR addiction (R).

Ways Endorphin Levels Increase

  • Exercise (R).
  • Chocolate (R).
  • Ultraviolet light increases the amount of endorphins in the skin, leading to the possibility of an addiction to UV radiation (R).

Ways Endorphin Levels Decrease

  • 17 beta-estradiol  (R).
  • Hippophae Rhamnoides (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • Jeremy

    Joe,in this topic it is stated that 17 beta estradiol decrease endorphins but in the “30 natural ways to improve mood by increasing our opioids and endorphins” it is the opposite (pregnenolone’s breakdown product estrogen increase endorphins).
    So does estrogen increase the endorphins or lowers it?
    Thanks you

  • Angelo

    Great information and very interesting stuff.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.