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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1987;25(7):591-601.

Capsicum and capsaicin--a review: case report of the use of hot peppers in child abuse.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville 22908.


Capsaicin, the active principle of hot peppers of the genus Capsicum, exhibits broad bioactivity. It targets neuronal structures which contain substance P, clinically seen as gastrointestinal and dermatologic irritation, bronchospasm and fibrinolysis. As a research tool, capsaicin profoundly alters neurologic anatomy and function. We review the toxicity of capsaicin and comment briefly on the use of hot peppers in child abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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