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Author Topic: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?  (Read 13493 times)

neilep

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How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« on: 29/09/2005 01:10:03 »
I want to know this...just saw a prog where this girly consumed the most hottest chilli ever.

How come some people can take such heat ?..what is the mechanism that allows them to endure it with comfort ?

make your answers mild, I cant take the hot stuff !

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neilep

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #1 on: 29/09/2005 20:40:48 »
well ?...when I said make your answers mild I didn't mean diluted !!

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ukmicky

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #2 on: 30/09/2005 00:21:17 »
arhhhhh. Have you ever felt lonely and unapriciated.:):)


 
The way i see it we all either don't like the hot stuff.


Or we just don't know the anwser,Its a bit like why do i always want to spell the words anwser and believe as awnser and belive.

I don't know, its a mystery

Michael                                      
« Last Edit: 30/09/2005 00:22:34 by ukmicky »

chris

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #3 on: 30/09/2005 15:10:04 »
Hi Neil

the component of a chilli that makes it hot is a chemical called capsaicin. The very fine nerve fibres that signal pain and tempearture sensation in the skin, mouth, lips, eyes and genitals have a docking station, referred to as a receptor, for this chemical.

When it binds, capsaicin triggers the nerve fibre to activate, allowing electrically charged ions into the nerve cell and provoking an action potential - a wave of nerve impulses that are transmitted to the brain. The more chilli that is applied to the nerve fibre the 'hotter' the sensation you experience.

It's because the nerve fibres that signal the sensation are the same ones activated by high temperatures that the chilli effect is experienced as a burning sensation.

So why can some people seem to tolerate more chilli than others ?

Well it's probably down to a number of factors, and partly for the same reason that an addict craves increasingly large doses of a drug to achieve the same effect that they did initially. The reason for this is a decline in the number of receptors for that drug on the cells that the drug targets. This is known as receptor 'down regulation' and is part of the brains balancing act that it uses to tweak nerve cell communication.

So, if you enjoy freqent and liberal lashings of chilli, it's possible that the nerve receptors decrease in number, rendering you less sensitive to the effects over time. But serious curry-heads need not worry, the damage is not permanent - a period of abstinence should restore you to full sensitivity.

Another possible explanation is physical damage to the nerve fibre itself. In newborn and foetal animals, exposure to capsaicin kills sensitive nerve fibres. Perhaps in adults repeated exposure to the agent, whilst not killing the cells, instead causes nerve 'pruning', reducing the density of fibres available to respond to the chilli and hence presenting a smaller signal to the brain so curries taste less hot ?

Lastly, anyone who keeps chickens might be interested to know that they can never appreciate the spiciness of a tikka jalfrezi, because chickens lack the capsaicin receptor and hence can quickly happily peck their way through a vindaloo or even a phal without discomfort. Whether they survive the ensuing food poisoning that inevitably accompanies a trip to a dodgy Indian, is another matter...

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Ylide

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #4 on: 02/10/2005 11:52:39 »
Great explanation, Chris.  I always kinda wondered if tolerance to hot foods worked like tolerance to some psychoactive drugs.  

I've been slowly developing a tolerance to heat by eating a Mexican place over the last 4 years that serves a salsa that you could strip paint with.  

Indian food no longer tastes the slightest bit hot to me. (though it still tastes great) I pretty much have to eat some seriously evil Thai or just cook something myself to feel a real heat anymore.  Dave's Insanity Sauce is a nice addition to my hotter meals.  I swear it must be 99% pure capsaicin.  



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neilep

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #5 on: 02/10/2005 13:01:39 »
Thanks also Chris for a great explanantion.

Because the receptors are in ' down regulation' mode, does that also affect one's ability to taste as well.

Jay,have you noticed that at all ?...errhhmm... I just noticed you said that it still tastes great, so, presumably taste is not affeceted at all...which means I should wait until I've drunk my coffee and become less blurry eyed before reading responses which already have the answers in them....but , can you appreciate the taste more so without the heat treading on it's toes ?

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ukmicky

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #6 on: 02/10/2005 15:26:52 »
Chris i agree with what you say but I also believe there are also genetic reasons. where people from certain countries and regions around the world have an in built resistance against the effects of chilli. Take me and my brothers for instance, my father is jamaican and even though we dont look half jamaican as you can see from my picture, we have got our fathers ability to eat very hot and spicy food even though we don't usally eat it as our mother who is english did most of the cooking and dosen't like chilli.

Michael                                      
« Last Edit: 02/10/2005 22:42:21 by ukmicky »

Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #7 on: 03/10/2005 07:36:09 »
As a chilli cracker, eating raw chillies for medicinal purposes and enjoyment one of the main initial reactions is the production of mucous in the mouth and stomach. The chilli stimulates the glands to release a very large amount of mucous. Could it also be possible that the chilli makes these glands more effective over time and exposure to the drug.

Chilli has an instant effect on blood pressure also, as it is believed to open up / relax the arteries and has been shown to help when a person has a heart condition. I suspect also it has a similar effect on the nervous system, opening up the nerves and fluid channels and improving the message transport system to the brain, but not aware of any trials to confirm this.

It also stimulates the sweat glands in the same way.

The antidote for chilli in the mouth is cheese, why this works is possibly down to the cheese coating the glands in the mouth and preventing the chilli from interacting with the nervous system inside the mouth and tongue. You can eat very hot chillies when eaten with even a small amount of cheese.

Chilli is a fantastic antacid and is believed to contain more than ten times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.

I suspect it has an alkiline effect on the stomach acids also and possibly kills the bugs in the stomach that stimulate excess acid production.

It's a good idea to put the toilet rolls in the freezer prior to consuming chillies though.





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chris

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #8 on: 03/10/2005 09:17:39 »
Hi Ukmicky

there certainly are genetic components to taste, but not, so far as I know, with respect to chilli sensitivity (amongst humans and ignoring chickens of course !).

Asians are more prone to be 'supertasters' than caucasians; that is, they tend to experience greens including cabbage, broccoli or brussels sprouts as much more bitter-tasting than the average English person.

This is down to a polymorphism (genetic variation) in some classes of taste receptor.

Chilli locks onto a specific receptor on the surface of the nerve cell. There are other receptors on the cell surface, but these are not affected.

It's rather like selective deafness. If you are exposed to a very loud noise of just one frequency your ear temporarily becomes deaf to that frequency, but other sounds are not affected. So it is with these receptor subtypes in the brain.

Heroin addicts show a down-regulation of their opioid receptors, but their other neurotransmitter systems are relatively normal.

Chris

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MooseHole

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #9 on: 13/10/2005 20:18:08 »
Yes, I use crushed red peppers when I feed my chickens so the mice won't eat their food.  The same trick can be done for any birds if you have an outdoor bird feeder or something.

However, if that's the only source of food for the mice, they'll probably eat it even though it's spicy, and become spicy mice.  This is good if you like a little kick in your mouseburger.

Ylide

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #10 on: 25/10/2005 01:14:23 »
I bet those chickens are delicious.

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drkev

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #11 on: 25/10/2005 11:47:56 »
It is fascinating how different cultured develop different tolerances to food. I was at an Indian a few weeks ago and the curry the staff were eating was burning me from over the room!!!!

Also, I cannot remember the exact statistic but about 70% of Asian (Chinese, Japanese) people are lactose intolerant.

Just in case anyone wants to know, lactose intolerance is due to a deficiency in lactase which hydrolyses lactose to galactose and glucose. It "lives" in the digestive tract (in humans anyway) which is why you should never eat/drink dairy products when you have diarrhoea.

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hairie

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Re: How can some people eat such hot chillis ?
« Reply #12 on: 14/12/2005 16:29:31 »
sorry for interupting.. I'm new in here and hello to everybody!

I just learned to eat chillis last year....it is so hard to get used to that chillis! My mom usually cook something spicy and chillis must be included! it just I don't want to waste the food that my mom cook...

and, I wanna know, I've heard some rumours said that eating too many chillis can make our brain slow. Is that true?

 

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