Complexity Digest 2007.06 - 18
Chemical Biology: Sticky Spices, Nature
Excerpts: The spiciness of foods such as horseradish is perceived through sensory neurons of the pain pathway. The lingering pungency of some such foods results from chemical modification of the channels that trigger these neurons.
(...) Activated TRPA1 mediates the flow of ions into the endings of specialized neurons in the mouth and skin. This excites the neurons, resulting in local inflammation and our perception of burning pain. (...) But two studies now provide evidence that the spicy compounds found in the foods listed above activate TRPA1 in a different, and often more sustained, manner (...).
- Source: Chemical Biology: Sticky Spices
[ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v445/n7127/full/nature05565.html ], Michael J. Caterina, DOI: 10.1038/nature05565, Nature 445, 491-492, 07/02/01