Coffee Could be a Stronger Painkiller than Morphine

Photo of author

( — January 26, 2015)  — Brazilia, Brazil – Amongst other valuable ingredients, coffee has a hidden one which was recently discovered by scientists. Specialists at the University of Brasilia and Brazilian agriculture research company Embrapa have discovered a new protein in coffee that they say has similar affect to a human nervous system as morphine does. Furthermore, this protein is much more powerful than morphine and its effects last longer.

Felipe Vinecky of the Molecular Biology Department at the University of Brasilia (UnB) in cooperation with the Genetics and Biotechnology Division of  the state owned agriculture and livestock research company Embrapa conducted the research, according to a Russia Today’s report.

The research was originally aimed at combining coffee genes to affect quality. During the tests, scientists discovered a new substance in the product.

Reportedly, Vinecky and his research adviser Carlos Bloch Junior found some proteins similar to those typical for humans. So they decided to test their properties.

The researchers identified previously unknown fragments of protein — peptides — in coffee “that have an analgesic and sedative activity,” the Embrapa company press release said.

Both the University and Embrapa applied for patents to the Brazilian government for seven proteins they called ‘opioid peptides,’ as reported.

New peptides tested on mice in the laboratory, have longer effects than morphine. According to the scientists, it lasted up to four hours and no side effects were recorded, a company press release said.

Beside minimizing the stress in animals at slaughterhouses, Embrapa scientists believe their discovery has great “biotechnological potential” for the health food industry.

In 2004, the state-owned company Embrapa succeeded in determining the functional genome sequence of coffee. The discovery made it possible to combine coffee genes in order to improve the quality of coffee grains. Thanks to this achievement, the researchers managed to discover the new peptides.