Instead of two aspirin a handful of chocolate ... But also a glass of water does it.
Reading aloud Chocolate is good for pain? just like a glass of water. To this surprising result, a US research duo has now come after a study with rats. Conclusion: Eating and drinking actually dampen the sensation of pain, and always when the taste is pleasant. So far, the view was that only sweet, sugary foods have a pain-killing effect. Presumably, the cooperation between sense of taste and pain helps animals in the wild to set the right priorities, the researchers believe: Tastes a bit pleasant, you should pay close attention to the food and not be distracted by anything else. If the taste is not pleasant, the food is probably not such a good idea and should be put aside. In humans, however, the relationship is probably rather negative. The rats in the study were given researchers a piece of chocolate, a sweet solution or a sip of water. During consumption, an incandescent light bulb turned on under the bottom of the cage, heating the material? a painful situation, to which the rats usually react with a quick lift of the paw. However, if they were busy with the chocolate or the drinks, the response was measurably delayed, the scientists observed. This could be observed in hungry as well as rich animals. A bitter quinine solution, which the rats clearly found offensive, had no effect.

However, the researchers found a test with sick rats particularly enlightening: The pain-suppressing effect occurred only with clear water in these animals? apparently the only thing they found in their condition as pleasant and soothing, according to the interpretation of the scientists. In contrast to the previous assumption, it is not the calories, the sweet taste, hunger or at least appetite that are necessary for the anti-pain effect of food. Only a pleasant taste and the feeling that the food does the body well seem to be the prerequisite for the effect.

While animals in the wild may benefit from this interconnection between sensation of pain and taste, it is likely to have devastating consequences for modern society, author Peggy Mason believes: the system has evolved to ensure that food is fully consumed when it is tangible. However, in today's society, food is available almost always and everywhere, and that makes people eat much more than they should. However, Mason sees this discovery as having positive potential: since it has been shown that sugar is not necessary for the analgesic effect, it is also possible to soothe a sick child with a glass of water instead of a sweet. provided the effect exists in humans in this form at all.

Peggy Mason and Hayley Foo (University of Chicago): Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 29, No. 41 ddp / - Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement


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