Marijuana and Chili Peppers Calm Gut’s Immune System, May Treat Type 1 Diabetes and Colitis

Marijuana and chili peppers may help treat diabetes and colitis by calming the gut, according to new research conducted at the University of Connecticut.

Chili peppers and marijuana may not have much in common, but when eaten, both interact with the same receptor in our stomachs. This is according to a study conducted by University of Connecticut (UConn) researchers, published in the April 24 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The data could lead to new therapies for diabetes and colitis, and opens up intriguing questions about the relationship between the immune system, the gut and the brain, says researchers.

“Touch a chili pepper to your mouth and you feel heat”, states a UConn press release. “And biochemically, you aren’t wrong. The capsaicin chemical in the pepper binds to a receptor that triggers a nerve that fires off to your brain: hot! Those same receptors are found throughout the gastrointestinal tract, for reasons that have been mysterious.”

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