What I read for fun

Look what I stumbled across: Substance P, the science and perception of food. (Thanks, Gizabeth!)

I am really enjoying his presentation Chemosensory Sorcery. As someone who gives presentations (I did a review for med students yesterday, and plan to be in academics), I love great quotes and cool pictures. He quotes the Walrus from Through the Looking Glass! It doesn’t hurt to have such a great topic, too.

When I talked about my alternate fantasy careers at Mothers in Medicine, I forgot to mention food scientist. Oh, and medical librarian.


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6 responses to “What I read for fun

  1. That’s my baby bro! Thanks for the plug! You made my day.

    Not that he needs it. He is pretty freaking amazing.

  2. K

    Why is that one blog called substance p? Substance p is a pain-related chemical in the body if I remember correctly & capsacin applied to it a local area may deplete it.

  3. MomTFH

    I was wondering about that myself. I know about substance P (and capsaicin’s effect on it) in regards to pain. But, some neurochemicals and biological messengers in the body have more than one function. Maybe substance P is also involved in taste?

  4. Hi! Thanks for the nice bump in readership to my blog.

    Substance P is part of the nerve cascade responsible (among many other things) for transmitting the “pain” signals associated with such wonderful foods as chiles, wasabi, raw garlic, mustard, horseradish, Huajiao berries, szechuan buttons. This is where my love of it comes from and the title of my blog.

    In response to “K”, it is a suspected depletion culprit when capsaicin is used topically for long term pain relief, though my biochemistry oriented colleagues at the Monell Center are doubtful that Substance P can remain depleted for as long as people are experiencing pain relief (on the order of weeks).

    For you nerdy medical types, see:

    Backonja et al., NGX-4010, a high-concentration capsaicin patch, for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia: a randomised, double-blind study. Lancet Neurol 2008; 7: 1106–12


    Simpson et al., Controlled trial of high-concentration capsaicin patch for treatment of painful HIV neuropathy. Neurology 2008; 70: 2305-2313


    • MomTFH

      Hooray! And welcome to my blog. Thanks for the citations – I am a nerdy type, and I definitely will be checking out those sources. I used to do research for a nutritional supplement company whose products contained a lot of food items – I miss my days of reading the J. of Agr and Food Chemistry. I had a feeling Substance P was involved in the taste cascade in that way.

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