Chili peppers may lead to new painkiller

Substance in chili peppers similar to pain pathways in the body

According to a team at the University of Texas, a substance similar to casaicin—which makes chili peppers hot—is found in the human body where pain occurs, and blocking its production could stop chronic pain. Capsaicin is what causes a burning sensation in peppers; it binds to receptors on the cells inside the body. When the body is hurt, it releases capsaicin-like substances which cause pain via receptors. Lab work on mice showed that when a gene for the receptors was knocked out, there was no sensitivity to capsaicin, which could lead to powerful new pain-blocking drugs.

BBC News

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