Eating Spicy Foods May Activate Stem Cells Lying Dormant In Your Bone Marrow

It turns out if you feed a mouse spicy food it will release stem cells from the bone marrow. It may also be true for humans but they’d need to do another test to be sure. Or you could try it out yourself!

In a journal published in nature researchers report on a discovery that feeding mice the infamous spice capsaican in their food leads to nociceptor activation, usually reserved for deployment of regenerative stem cells after an injury, in response to the perception of pain. Might this be a good dietary trick to access the bodies natural supply of regenerative life-force?

In an article titled “Pain-sensing neurons mobilize blood stem cells from bone marrow” the author explains the origin of this study.

“Certain types of spicy food can trigger nociceptor activation, leading Gao et al. to wonder whether consuming spicy food might cause HSC mobilization. To test this idea, the authors fed mice a diet rich in capsaicin — an active component of chilli peppers. This spicy fare increased the levels of CGRP in the extracellular fluid of the bone marrow, and increased the CGRP-induced mobilization of HSCs. The effect disappeared when nociceptors were blocked pharmacologically, indicating that these neurons mediated the effect of the capsaicin-rich diet.”

In the experiment, researchers were more concerned with reverse engineering a bio-chemical trick for drug induced stem cell production. However it may also mean that eating spicy foods with capsaican, or taking capsaican supplements could produce stem cell product. Future dietary research should aim at investigating the effect of spicy food on natural stem cell production in humans. If the effect is substantial enough it would make this a very simple dietary technique for injury healing, prevention, and recovery from pain, or maybe even post exercise onset muscle soreness.

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