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Redheads May Feel Less Pain Than Others due to Their Skin Cells, Here's Why

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

Ginger people have a higher threshold for tolerating pain as compared to brunettes and blondes.

Ginger people have a higher threshold for tolerating pain as compared to brunettes and blondes. A new study has found out that it is the skin cells that are responsible for determining an individual’s pigmentation, called melanocytes. is integral in deciding a human’s pain dealing abilities. If the study is to be believed, then Redheads have a genetic mutation. This basically implies that their melanocytes are faulty and as a result are incapable of making a dark pigment to get tan.

Also, as an effect of this chemical imbalance a whole new range of different hormones is found in ginger people. Their hormones are such that they have pain-blocking opioid receptors and are able to produce more opioid signals than the rest. As a result, they have a higher pain threshold.

The study published in Science Advances has been conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital. For coming to this conclusion they carried out research on red-furred mice. They said the skin cells of the rodents are similar to humans and the reason for red hair between the two can be compared.

Dr David Fischer, who led a previous study in the field, told Daily Mail, that ginger is the rarest of human hair colours. Those with this colour hair have faulty melanocytes since they never make any black or brown pigment. However, these defective receptors alter the production of a chemical named POMC. This element degrades into various hormones and creates an equilibrium between pain-inhibiting and pain-enhancing receptors.

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He says that the latest study describes the mechanistic basis which is based on earlier evidence that suggests varied pain thresholds in different pigmentation backgrounds. Adding further Dr Fischer said, “Understanding this mechanism provides validation of this earlier evidence and a valuable recognition for medical personnel when caring for patients whose pain sensitivities may vary.”

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first published:April 07, 2021, 20:12 IST