Friday, November 25, 2011

Boost potency of natural pain relief chemicals

This article discusses a way of enhancing the effects anandamine, a natural chemical in the body that provides pain relief.  Researchers have discovered a protein, named FLAT, in brain cells that transports anandamine to sites within the cell that break it down and that by blocking this protein the potency of anandamine increases.  Anandamine has been shown to play key roles in regulating food consumption, antianxiety, and antidepressant.  Experiments were conducted to better understand how the protein FLAT binds to anandamine and takes it to sites within the cell to be broken down.  The researchers speculate that inhibiting FLAT could be useful in controlling certain forms of pain and reducing addiction to pain medications.  Blocking FLA activity enhances several effects of anandamine without producing the “high” seen in marijuana.  They found that compounds that boost the natural abilities of anandamine could be used to create medications that don’t produce addiction, sedation, or other common side effects.  The researchers hope that by using the analgesic properties of marijuana new safe drugs can be created by amplifying the actions of natural marijuana like chemicals.

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