Why Some People Can Tolerate Spice Better Than Others
Ever been out eating with a friend who seems to have a very high affinity for spicy foods? Call it genetics, or practice, they just seem to handle it well more than others. That said, if you have ever wondered why some people can tolerate spice better than others, here’s an article that answers that question.
They built tolerance over the years
This reason is one of the most logical explanations for why some people can handle spicy foods better than others. The fact is, they have been consuming spicy foods for many years.
Research shows that people who eat spicy foods daily have a 14% chance of a longer life than those who eat them less than once a week. So, it’s no surprise that some people frequently eat spices, like turmeric, that have been proven to aid healthy digestion. Some people even use turmeric supplements for these reasons.
Therefore, it’s not far-fetched that some parents add turmeric into the meals of their household. What’s more, turmeric is spicy, so frequent consumption could also make a person build some tolerance.
This practice is common in countries like India, Mexico, and many African countries, where parents feed their children capsaicin-containing foods from tender ages, so it makes sense that the tongue receptors have built tolerance by the time they grow up.
It has to do with genes
While there’s no concrete research data to back this one up, some scientists have suggested that tolerance to spicy foods may be genetic. One thing is certain, children are not born blank.
Research shows that they inherit around 23000 genes from their parents, each coding for specific expression.
Although not every gene does what it was meant to do, others do exactly what they are supposed to do. E.g shape of the nose, eye color, etc. Therefore, some scientists have theorised that parents whose receptors have become less sensitive to spicy food may pass on the expression to their children.
It’s a personality thing
One 2012 study suggests that thrill seekers, i.e., those that are more open to adventure, or adrenaline junkies, tend to handle spicy foods better. How? From the angle of biology, the brain alerts the body about pain so that we can exercise caution or flee from the pain-causing source.
If not, a person who accidentally places his hand in a flame will probably suffer significant damage since nothing is telling the body it’s in danger. Therefore, for thrill-seekers, once the brain alerts the mouth of the burning sensation from spicy food, their body quickly adjusts to the burning/hot sensation once the body realises or interprets it as no real danger.