More on Placebo Effect as Real Effect

I find that some of the leading scientists in the U.S. are not aware of the fact that every thought generates a recognizable chemical reaction in the brain that can be seen on a brain scan. Furthermore these chemical reactions generate enzymes, proteins, and other forms of signaling in the body.

Elsewhere, I have already reported on recently studies showing that emotional tone directly impacts immune function. Here we seen that human cells can manufacture morphine. It is not surprising that placebo effects have been occassionally shown to be more powerful than morphine.

Human cells produce morphine

Results of biosynthesis studies may improve understanding of pain, immunity, and behavior

Charles Q Choi

The Scientist, September 21, 2004

Researchers in Germany have found solid evidence that human cells can generate morphine. Their findings, reported this week in PNAS, may help resolve years of debate.

“If this morphine [that] humans produce interacts with opiate receptors in the body, this could open up a whole new era for understanding the pharmacological modulation of pain, of immune response, and of behavior,” author Meinhart Zenk of Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany, told The Scientist.

George Stefano, director of the Old Westbury Neuroscience Institute in New York and a leading proponent of endogenous morphine’s debated existence, said the study, which he did not participate in, confirms nearly 30 years of theories. In 2003, his group cloned an opiate receptor from human tissues, mu3, that only reacts with morphine and is found in immune, vascular, and neural tissues.

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