RESEARCH

What your mother ate might have influenced your taste buds - study

If the protein is activated frequently, it increases its tolerance for similar spicy substances.

In Summary

•The peperine in breast milk could regularly activate a protein that detects pungent or harmful substances.

•If that protein frequently activates in low amounts on nursing baby, it may increase its tolerance for similar spicy substances later in life.

A breastfeeding mother.
A breastfeeding mother.

 Whether you like chilli spice or a mild spice, all this could be passed down to what your mother ate while she was breastfeeding you.   

A group of researchers from the University of Munich recently conducted research after which they found out that when mothers ate a curry dish containing pepper – it soon became present in their breast milk.

The study that involved 18 breastfeeding women, revealed that after an hour of eating curry, the pepper was detected in the breast milk for several hours.

The levels were much lower but could be detected through taste.

“In peppers, these could activate a pungent receptor in baby’s bodies and help them tolerate spicy food as they grow up,” said author Dr Roman Lang of the University of Munich.

Thai red curry
Thai red curry
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

The researchers however said that only pepper and no other compounds from the likes of ginger and chilli were found in the milk.

The research was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food research and the scientists said that further research needed to be conducted to determine whether a barrier exists in the mother’s circulation that only pepper could cross and not chilli and ginger.

The peperine in breast milk could regularly activate a protein that detects pungent or harmful substances.

If that protein frequently activates in low amounts on a nursing baby, it may increase its tolerance for similar spicy substances later in life.