London: Some people experience cold as a painful sensation. Researchers have now found that the cure to this sensation could be in the olfactory receptors that react to pungent substances like mustard and garlic.
The reason is that spices affect nerves that are part of the pain system. In other words, the same receptor for mustard and garlic that irritates the nerve cells also responds to cold.
"The discomfort and pain experienced by patients can start at relatively mild temperatures, within the temperature span to which mustard and garlic receptor reacts," said Edward Hagestatt from Lund University in Sweden.
Receptors for mustard and garlic are found in many locations in the body, including in the skin, bladder and gut.
The researchers believe that blocking the receptors can relieve pain caused by cold.
The findings could help all those who suffer from cold allodynia, a condition where patients are over-sensitive to cold and experience pain when exposed to cold.