March 6, 2011

Le Pain, as Pointed Out by Alexander Leandro Dela Fuente

In the summer before I went to college, my mother took me traveling. I wandered around a foreign land, enthralled at the sights around me, when my gaze fell onto a nearby shop. The store window cheerfully announced that it was peddling pain.

I was very amused, to say the least; I even took a picture. Unfortunately, I cannot find that picture anymore.

I did find my picture of Linkin Park, however.
Imagine my joy, nearly four years later, when I realized I could tell that story in a blog article about pain! See, pain and pain are related; according to, eating pain can help relieve pain!

Pain is bread. Isn't French great?
The cited reference described a study performed by researchers from the University of Chicago on rats. A light bulb was lit under their (the rats, not the researchers) cages; while the ensuing heat would normally lead to the rats lifting their naked paws, this effect would be delayed by the presence of consumables - in this case, chocolate chips and saccharine water. The lead author, neurobiology professor Dr. Peggy Mason, supposedly said that "eating stimulated a system in the part of the brain that controls subconscious responses, which was known to blunt pain" (Mason et al.,2009); I'm sure she said it in more specific terms, but Google Scholar's been remarkably unfriendly to me in my search for the actual article.

French sign art, on the other hand, is easy to find.

This did turn up, however; I'm glad it did, insofar as Mason et al.'s work didn't seem to cover cross-species applicability. Sure, they said they "believe the same effects can be seen in humans," but I don't think that counts.

Let's have some proof, aye?

Anyway, the journal article described a similar process: a temperature change was applied to participants and differences in reaction to the pain were correlated to the ingestion of isoenergetic meals. In the abstract, the researchers concluded that fat-rich food significantly reduced the pain response to their stimuli; at some point - whether before or after, I do not know - they also concluded that their hard work was far too important to be posted for free on the internet, which should explain why I'm only citing the abstract.

(No, of course they didn't write that part in the abstract.)

I'll leave what all this implies to Ge's article; while hers is about smoking, her cited model presents a relationship which I believe could apply to food.

What she said.
I'd provide proof (read: better quotes) if only it didn't necessitate a paid subscription to a journal site; hopefully whatever I decide to write about next will be better supported by scientists with a more liberal view towards sharing their written work.

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