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Author Topic: Why do you only get the "ring of fire" post curry when you evacuate?  (Read 11059 times)

Offline dentstudent

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How far can I get through this without saying "poo" or "bum-hole"? DAMN. Not long....

However, you only get the afterburn on deposition of said digested food product, and you don't have a chilli burn in your intestine for example (thank the deity of your choice for that!).

Why? Is it that the numbers of nerve endings increases here, and if so, why?

It seems I didn't say "poo" or "bum-hole" after all!


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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The only bumwarmer I've got is my 730i  :D

Seriously, though - I eat lots of really hot curries & I never suffer from the ring of fire.
 

Offline chris

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This a great question and it's all down to how the intestines are innervated (supplied by nerves).

The hot ingredient in chilli is called capsaicin. It provokes the sensations that it does by locking onto a nerve receptor (a kind of chemical docking station) carried by a specific class of pain-sensitive nerve fibres (called C fibres).

So to experience the burning of chilli you need to have this receptor on nerves where the chilli is.

The intestinal lining (which is made in teh embryo by a tissue layer known as endoderm) does not carry these nerve fibres or receptors. As a result, so long as the mucosa is intact, you are not sensitive to ingested chilli.

BUT, where the tissue that forms the lining of your intestines meets the skin covering your body, which is just inside the anus, it's business as usual, and the skin here carries the capsaicin-receptor-bearing nerve fibres.

So, as you "evacuate" let's say, you smear any residual capsaicin from the curry onto the skin, where it locks onto the nerve fibres and signals "burning"...

I hope that answers that painful question for you.

Chris
 

Offline dentstudent

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Thanks Chris! I'm off to try and avoid getting poo on my bum-hole!  DAMN!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Chris - we obviously don't have those receptors all over our skin or chilli would burn whenever we touched it.
 

Offline dentstudent

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That's right. How many times have you chopped chilli, and then gone for a pee? ONCE! YOU NEVER DO IT AGAIN!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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That's right. How many times have you chopped chilli, and then gone for a pee? ONCE! YOU NEVER DO IT AGAIN!

I've done that many times. The trick is to remember to wash your hands after chopping the chilli  ::)
 

Offline dentstudent

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or, if you have (olive) oil on your hands when you chop the chillis, it is supposed to stop the capsaicin locking onto the nerve fibres, which should make it easier to get rid of all the trouble when you wash your hands.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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or, if you have (olive) oil on your hands when you chop the chillis, it is supposed to stop the capsaicin locking onto the nerve fibres, which should make it easier to get rid of all the trouble when you wash your hands.

I've heard that but never tried it. I would imagine anything that sits between your skin & the capsaicin would have the same effect.
 

Offline gazeranco

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So... just to summarise, what we have established here is this: If we lube ourselves up with some of italy's finest extra virgin oil, then the evacuation will be a painless one?
 

Offline chris

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Actually you do have capsaicin receptors all over your skin, but skin on non-mucous membranes (hands, knees, elbows and so on) is much thicker and the capsaicin-receptor-bearing nerves are underneath it. This presents a physical barrier to the movement of the molecule through the skin towards the nerves that can detect it. As a result you are much less likely to experience burning on peripheral skin.

Mucous membranes, on the other hand, have thinner tissue layers; in the eye this makes it possible to see clearly, in the mouth it enables you to chemically experience (taste) and physically experience (assess texture and heat) what you are eating (so you don't swallow sharp objects like bone that might perforate your intestines, or things that are too hot), and the genital region speaks for itself.

So by virtue of having thinner tissues and the nerves closer to the chemical environment, mucous membranes are more sensitive to the effects, and hence you notice them there at lower concentrations than elsewhere on the body.

I hope that helps.

Chris
 

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