Why do some people crave spicy food? It may be in our genes

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

If you’ve ever sat in front of a plate of wings with tears streaming, sweat dripping, or snot running, you’ve probably wondered how to up your spice tolerance. While some people find themselves in a world of hurt from freshly grated black pepper on their pasta, others dive into threateningly red bowls of pozole with the enthusiasm of Guy Fieri at a cheesy-fry buffet.

In a scientific study comparing the results of fraternal and identical twins’ reactions to spice-spiked foods, results showed that 18-58% of a preference comes from genetics. Essentially, the study found that identical twins (those that share the same genetic material) were that much more likely to have the same levels of reaction to spice as fraternal twins (people with shared environmental upbringing, but not genes).

While scientists generally agree that genetics play a part, not too many other studies have delved into exactly why. So you can blame your parents for at least a little bit of how you react to spicy foods. The rest, though, is personal. Within that, we found in talking to food-science nerds and professionals who spend their life studying such topics, ties to two factors: training and personality.

Read full, original post: Do Genetics Shape Your Spicy-Food Threshold?

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