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Endorphins are produced by the Central Nervous System as an endogenous reaction to painful conditions. Under normal conditions their role is not limited to the regulation of pain only but affects other systems too. The fact that the specialized mRNA, which encodes for the endorphin synthesis in the ribosomes, also includes the information for the synthesis of ACTH, indicates that the role of endorphins is correlated with the response to stress conditions in general. The aim of the present study was the most precise as possible description of the way endorphins are produced and their physiological actions, emphasizing their role in the organism. Published articles related to the operation of endogenous opioid peptides and more specifically to that of β-endorphin as well as the ascorbic acid which represents a contributing factor to the whole function of the analgesic system are critically reviewed. A search in the Medline database between the years 1973–2004 was used. Regarding the ascorbic acid it is concluded that it functions as a supplemental substance essential to the synthesis of endorphins, cathecholamines and steroid hormones. Consequently, its presence is of high importance to all stages of an organism’s response to stress. In addition to the above, ascorbic acid is the most important scavenger of free radicals, whose levels are highly increased under stressful conditions.
|Category:||Volume 47, N 2|
|Authors:||Αnastasia Baldouma , Konstantinos Charalabopoulos|