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#1
Old 11-07-2001, 04:45 PM
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Why does Mexican food make my ass burn?

Just got back from a business trip to the Southwest, where simple courtesy requires accompanying one's associates to Mexican restaurants multiple times. No problem there, but simple manhood requires using as much hot sauce on it as they do. No problem there, either - just get it down fast, eat bread, drink plenty of iced tea, and keep them from being able to laugh at your silly Yankee face. I'm sure many of you are thinking "Been there, done that. So what?"

Well, do you remember what it felt like a few hours later, when it felt like a hot poker going in your rectum? Even multiple trips to the shitter didn't get rid of the irritation. And multiple trips to the shitter were required, weren't they?

So this is really 2 questions, I guess:

1. Why does Mexican food (or maybe just hot sauce) cause a unique form of irritation? Is the capsaicin in the chili sauce really irritating everything it touches, from the tongue down the entire digestive tract, until it reaches a spot with some nerve endings? And why does the irritation arrive well before the solid form it's associated with - does the capsaicin separate into a lubricant that flows on ahead?

2. Why does Mexican food create waste products of such an, um, unique texture?

3. And why do people on this board still think it's funny to mention a gemstone on numbered lists?
#2
Old 11-07-2001, 05:09 PM
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#1: Just a WAG, but I think the capsaicin acts as an overall chemical irritant, sending your entire intestinal tract into spasm. When the upper end of your intestinal tract isn't happy, the lower end gets upset in sympathy. Waves of distress signals flash back and forth, even though the actual irritant itself may be hours away from actually reaching the nether regions of your colon, where most of the action already seems to be.

#2 (heh): Because pinto beans are a major component of Mexican food, and pinto beans are very high in fiber. Fiber, fiber, fiber. Zooming along your intestinal tract, shooing everything ahead of it. "Go, go, go." That's what fiber does.

I would guess that you're having such problems mainly because you aren't acclimated to it. You're not in the habit of ingesting vast quantities of bowel irritants every day, so when it does happen, your digestive tract goes into hysterical "ohmigod!" spasms.

Also, am I correct in assuming there's a certain element of one-upmanship involved in these business meals? As in "way-ull, hay-ull, Mexican food jist ain't Mexican food without chu got at least a 3-alarm fahr a-goin' 'fore you even put the first bite into your mouth, son..."

Be a wuss--cut back on the hot sauce. Your anus will thank you.
#3
Old 11-07-2001, 05:14 PM
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It is perfectly permissible to say, shrugging and smiling, "Well, I like Mexican food--but Mexican food doesn't like me", and then order a hamburger. And if your host has a problem with that, well, then that's his problem, isn't it?

ah, these boys and their pissing contests
#4
Old 11-07-2001, 05:15 PM
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I would wager that it's the fat, not the fiber that's causing the, um, urgency. Fiber does act as a laxative in its way, but it doesn't give you the trots.
#5
Old 11-07-2001, 05:20 PM
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This may help with your question:

http://pbs.org/saf/1105/segments/1105-4.htm

It doesn't irritate anything *except* that which has nerve endings, because they mistake it for actual burning.
#6
Old 11-07-2001, 05:28 PM
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Well, that was idiotic of me. The actual segment of the show dealt with why hot food burns, and what's vulnerable, but the page only provides a synopsis of the segment. Sorry.
#7
Old 11-07-2001, 05:38 PM
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"POR LA BUENA VOZ DEL PACIENTE SE ADVIERTE QUE YA PUEDE COMER CHILE".

“That good voice from the patient (a fart) is signal that he/she can eat chili peppers now”

--- Old picaresque Mexican proverb.

Some foods irritate the anus when they are expelled during a bowel movement. The most common culprits are caffeine, chocolate, beer, nuts, diary products, and spicy food.

Mucus membranes are affected by the capsaicin:
http://zingerone.foodsci.cornell.edu...al/trigem.html
Quote:
In addition to these two classical systems for chemical sensitivity, there is a more generalized chemical sensitivity in the nose and mouth, and over the whole body. Mucus membranes such as the anus are also sensitive - an old Hungarian saying has it that the good paprika burns twice, and similar sentiments are known in other countries with hot, spicy cuisines. In the nose and mouth, this more general chemical irritability is primarily mediated by the trigeminal nerves.
Remedies For the Pepper's Bite
http://users.visi.net/~mandy/pepguide.html
Quote:
From Berkley, R. (1992). Peppers: A Cookbook. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-74598-0
"There are several remedies for the effects of eating a pepper that is too hot for you, something that is usually discovered when it is too late. (Eventually, you can build up tolerance to the heat of peppers, and will be able to eat hotter and hotter chilis without having to resort to these cures.) Many people recommend drinking tomato juice or eating a fresh lemon or lime, the theory being that the acid counteracts the alkalinity of the capsaicin. Some people won't begin eating hot peppers without a pitcher of cold water handy, though this is not the best idea. The capsaicin, which is an oil, does not mix with the water but is instead distributed to more parts of the mouth. More useful solutions include drinking milk (rinsing the mouth with it as you sip) or eating rice or bread, which absorb the capsaicin. My own favorite retaliation against attack by hot chili pepper is to simply eat another. And if that doesn't work, eat another one.......
#8
Old 11-07-2001, 06:30 PM
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This topic is expanded on in this thread:

serious wolf ass
#9
Old 11-07-2001, 06:49 PM
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fat + fibre = seriously bad shits. add in a bit of hot chili sause and you get the mexican arse fountain
#10
Old 11-08-2001, 10:21 AM
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So is this where the term "hot shit " came from :-O
#11
Old 11-08-2001, 10:44 AM
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I just knew this was the right place to ask this question. Muchas gracias, amigos.

I guess the next question, for Mexicans and others who like to put chilis on everything, would be: Is it worth it?
#12
Old 11-08-2001, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
I guess the next question, for Mexicans and others who like to put chilis on everything, would be: Is it worth it?
Oh yes!
#13
Old 11-08-2001, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
I just knew this was the right place to ask this question. Muchas gracias, amigos.

I guess the next question, for Mexicans and others who like to put chilis on everything, would be: Is it worth it?
Spicy food rarely, if ever bothers me. So I usually don't care.
#14
Old 11-08-2001, 10:02 PM
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Tangentially related is a Staff Report by Colibri: Are birds immune to hot pepper, enabling them to eat vast amounts and spread the seeds?
#15
Old 11-08-2001, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
I just knew this was the right place to ask this question. Muchas gracias, amigos.

I guess the next question, for Mexicans and others who like to put chilis on everything, would be: Is it worth it?
Eat it everyday. And I'm a real 'regular' guy.

Of course here in México it is used al gusto and not for infantile "who can be the most macho chile-eater" contests.
#16
Old 11-08-2001, 10:44 PM
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All this and a bag of chips...

Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
I guess the next question, for Mexicans and others who like to put chilis on everything, would be: Is it worth it? [/B]
In view of the fact that most Mexican men eat a diet that is high in saturated fats (lard, fried foods, cheese and pork) yet have an anomalously low rate of coronary disease, there is specualtion that the capsaicin may act as an arterial "roto-rooter" of sorts. It most certainly seems to have that same effect on one's lower tract.

So, it seems that the health benefits may indeed make it all "worth it."

Zenster

(Who just scoffed down an al Pastor super burrito the size of his head for lunch today. Honestly, guys in line at the Taqueria Chavez were expressing total disbelief that I was in any way able to eat the entire thing in one sitting. I finished it with a bag of chips and some Jalapeño rajas just for fun.)
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