How do hot peppers help?
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in spicy hot chili peppers such as the jalapeno, is most often experienced as an irritant, but it may also be used to reduce pain. A new work published by Drs. Feng Qin and Jing Yao in this week's PLoS Biology uses capsaicin to uncover novel insight into how pain-receptor systems can adapt to painful stimuli.
Capsaicin acts by binding to a receptor in the cell wall of nerve endings and triggering an influx of calcium ions into the neuron. Eventually, the nervous system interprets this cascade of events as pain or heat, depending on which nerves are stimulated. Scientists had previously linked the pain-relieving
effects of capsaicin to a lipid called PIP2, found in cell membranes. When capsaicin is applied to the skin it induces a strong depletion of PIP2 in the cell membrane.
"The receptor acts like a gate to the neurons," said Qin. "When stimulated it opens, letting outside calcium enter the cells until the receptor shuts down, a process called desensitization. The analgesic action of capsaicin is believed to involve this desensitization process. However, how the entry of calcium leads to
the loss of sensitivity of the neurons was not clear."-Science News Today
1 10 oz. can original Rotel
3-4 medium chopped tomatoes
1/2 chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tab. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 - 1/2 bunch of cilantro lightly chopped
Add all to blender and pulse until lightly chopped. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving to
marry the spices.