Monday, August 11th — Capsaicin

August 12, 2008

Today I Learned…

…that capsaicin, the compound in hot peppers which gives them their spiciness, actually creates real heat on your tongue rather than just the impression of it.  Apparently scientists have determined that capsaicin reacts with cells, causing them to burn ATP (adenosine triphosphate — the molecule cells store energy as) and not do anything with the resulting energy and allow it to just radiate out as heat.

This is another tidbit I learned from the Discovery News Friday Feedbag podcast, which I mentioned a few days ago.  You should definitely check it out.

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