It's official, redheads feel pain differently than others

Red-haired people السكان hardly represents 1 to 2% of the world’s population. This special color, because Mutation in a gene called MC1R, arouse interest and fascination. If a simple change in hair color does not have to be prior There is no effect on one’s health, the study may have highlighted Differences between red-haired residents and others, Regarding pain sensitivity. what about ? That’s what we’ll decipher in this article, according to information from Trust My Science media.

Redheads, more resistant to pain?

When it comes to Pain resistanceWe are not all equal. In fact, both genetic and extrinsic factors (diseases, specific training, treatments, etc.) can modify our perception of pain. Thus, in recent years, scientists have been able to show that The reddish-brown phenotype – all obvious traits of the individual – showed a higher pain tolerance threshold than the others. Recently, they have even been able to understand the molecular mechanism involved in this phenomenon.

Variation in pigmentation

we all have pigmentation cells in our skin, which we call melanocytes; These cells are slightly different in red-haired people (like other red-haired animals): they contain a type of hormone receptor called melanocortin 1. Normally, when this receptor comes into contact with melanocortin, it causes the formation of melanocytes. To produce a black or brown pigment instead of a yellow or red pigment. In other words, In redheads, the difference results in a loss of melanocortin 1 receptor function. In addition, according to the work of researcher David E. Fisher, inactive variants of this receptor are also at origin Their inability to tan.

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What is the link between pain and melanocytes?

And therefore, Study conducted by David E. FisherDuring which he studied with his colleagues a line red mice, and they also have a variant without the active melanocortin 1 receptor. The study found that mice exhibited Greater tolerance for pain. Indeed, the study indicates that in the absence of a functional melanocortin 1 receptor, the melanocytes of the animals involved—and thus, those with a red coat— Less POMC . molecule is secreted (proopiomelanocortin). This is then broken down into two different types of hormones, one that blocks pain and one that makes you sensitive to it. In short, these hormones play an important role in the perception of pain, maintaining a balance between sensitivity and tolerance.

And that’s exactly what this point is about The “advantage” of redheads manifests itself : Indeed, as shown in the above diagram (on the right), Deficiency of functioning melanocortin 1 receptors leads to an imbalance in favor of opioid receptors – Those that block the sensation of pain – during the cleavage of the POMC molecule, which generates analgesia (pain inhibition). So we can establish, in light of these studies, Relationship between a higher threshold for pain tolerance and the presence of red pigmentation.

This should reassure some redhead : You have (a priori) nothing to fear from pain. At least compared to another. If the difference does not allow redheads to be able to withstand extreme thresholds without sufficient training, then they are clearly left the same with a small advantage.

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