Research using mice discovers why redheads have a higher pain threshold

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 11 Apr 2021, 10:53AM
Ed Sheeran is one of the world's most famous redheads. (Photo / Getty)
Ed Sheeran is one of the world's most famous redheads. (Photo / Getty)

Research using mice discovers why redheads have a higher pain threshold

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 11 Apr 2021, 10:53AM

New research out this week finds that redheads have a higher pain threshold than blondes or brunettes because of their skin's pigment!

The research published in Science Advances looked at how redheads have a genetic mutation which means their melanocytes have a faulty version of a key receptor which is why they can't make the dark pigment needed to get a tan.

Now scientists have discovered a knock-on effect of this is a chemical imbalance leading to a cascade of different hormones which ultimately enhances the effect of pain-blocking opioid receptors.

However, the study didn't poke humans, but instead tested red-furred mice. Nanogirl Michelle Dickinson joined Francesca Rudkin to discuss the research. 

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