A new study has said that human bodies may possess the biochemical machinery to produce a small but steady amount of natural morphine.
In the study, it was shown that mice produce the "incredible painkiller", and that humans and other mammals possess the same chemical road map for making it, said study co-author Meinhart Zenk, who studies plant-based pharmaceuticals at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
To come up with finding, boffins injected mice with an extra dose of a natural brain chemical called tetrahydropapaveroline (THP), which humans and mice are known to produce, reports The National Geographic News.
And then, by using a tool called a mass spectrometer to analyze the mouse urine, the team was able to tell that THP underwent chemical changes in the body that created morphine.
The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.