Why can some people handle spicy food better than others?

waarom kan de ene wel tegen pittig en de ander niet

While one person may start to sweat a from a bit too much black pepper in a dish, another can easily eat one of the hottest peppers in the world in its entirety. The difference in heat tolerance can apparently be enormous, but why can one person handle spicy food and the other not? It turns out to be about 50% genetics and 50% training.


So your genes play a large role and that has to do with the number of receptors you have in your mouth that detect spicy food. The more of these you have, the spicier something feels. Capsaicin is the substance in peppers that make the pepper / food perceived as spicy and that substance binds to a specific receptor in the mouth. This then sends a signal to your brain, telling you that the food is hot. Everyone experiences it that way, but if you have more of those receptors, something also seems spicier.

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The other half has to do with training, or rather habituation. People who have been eating spicy food from an early age can also tolerate this better. The receptors are stimulated more often and this also changes the message sent to your brain. You get used to it, so you can handle it better.

This does not mean that you had to eat spicy food as a small child to be able to handle it well now. You can always boost your heat tolerance if you want. With these 5 steps you will become better at spicy food.

Source: Delish

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