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Co-evolution of pathogens

Submitted by asalamon on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 00:04

As well as spicy food tolerance being due to mismatch, it could also be due to the co-evolution with pathogens.  In nature, capsaicin is naturally occuring and could be utilized by humans to fight off pathogens.  Because pathogens evolve at a faster rate than humans, their infections are harder to fight off (Nesse, 2008).  With humans utilizing cultural and behavioral adaptations of spice use in combination with genetic tolerance for spicy foods, humans have better chances of fighting off a pathogen.  In addition, the use of multiple spices in food preparation ensures the maximum lethality of pathogens, reducing their chances of being a recurrent pathogen.