本日配信のメルマガ。2024年共通テスト英語第6問B 本文最後までの内容



■ 問題



B You are preparing a presentation for your science club, using the
following passage from a science website.

  [Chili Peppers: The Spice of Life]
 Tiny pieces of red spice in chili chicken add a nice touch of color, but
biting into even a small piece can make a person's mouth burn as if it were
on fire. While some people love this, others want to avoid the painful
sensation. At the same time, though, they can eat sashimi with wasabi. This
might lead one to wonder what spiciness actually is and to ask where the
difference between chili and wasabi comes from.

 Unlike sweetness, saltiness, and sourness, spiciness is not a taste. In
fact, we do not actually taste heat, or spiciness, when we eat spicy foods.
The bite we feel from eating chili peppers and wasabi is derived from
different types of compounds. Chili peppers get their heat from a heavier,
oil-like element called capsaicin. Capsaicin leaves a lingering, fire-like
sensation in our mouths because it triggers a receptor called TRPV1. TRPV1
induces stress and tells us when something is burning our mouths.
Interestingly, there is a wide range of heat across the different varieties
of chili peppers, and the level depends on the amount of capsaicin they
contain. This is measured using the Scoville Scale, which is also called
Scoville Heat Units (SHU). SHUs range from the sweet and mild shishito
pepper at 50-200 SHUs to the Carolina Reaper pepper, which can reach up
to 2.2 million.

 Wasabi is considered a root, not a pepper, and does not contain
capsaicin. Thus, wasabi is not ranked on the Scoville Scale. However,
people have compared the level of spice in it to chilis with around 1,000
SHUs, which is on the lower end of the scale. The reason some people
cannot tolerate chili spice but can eat foods flavored with wasabi is that
the spice compounds in it are low in density. The compounds in wasabi
vaporize easily, delivering a blast of spiciness to our nose when we eat it.

 Consuming chili peppers can have positive effects on our health, and much
research has been conducted into the benefits of capsaicin. When capsaicin
activates the TRPV1 receptor in a person's body, it is similar to what
happens when they experience stress or pain from an injury. Strangely,
capsaicin can also make pain go away. Scientists found that TRPV1 ceases to
be turned on after long-term exposure to chili peppers, temporarily easing
painful sensations. Thus, skin creams containing capsaicin might be useful
for people who experience muscle aches.

 Another benefit of eating chili peppers is that they accelerate the
metabolism. A group of researchers analyzed 90 studies on capsaicin and
body weight and found that people had a reduced appetite when they ate
spicy foods. This is because spicy foods increase the heart rate, send more
energy to muscles, and convert fat into energy. Recently, scientists at the
University of Wyoming have created a weight-loss drug with capsaicin as a
main ingredient.

 It is also believed that chili peppers are connected with food safety,
which might lead to a healthier life. When food is left outside of a
refrigerated environment, microorganisms multiply on it, which may cause
sickness if eaten. Studies have shown that capsaicin and other chemicals
found in chili peppers have antibacterial properties that can slow down or
even stop microorganism growth. As a result, food lasts longer and there
are fewer food-borne illnesses. This may explain why people in hot climates
have tendency to use more chili peppers, and therefore, be more tolerant of
spicier foods due to repeated exposure. Also, in the past, before there
were refrigerators, they were less likely to have food poisoning than
people in cooler climates.

 Chili peppers seem to have health benefits, but can they also be bad for
our health? Peppers that are high on the Scoville Scale can cause physical
discomfort when eaten in large quantities. People who have eaten several of
the world's hottest chilis in a short time have reported experiencing upset
stomachs, diarrhea, numb hands, and symptoms similar to a heart attack.
Ghost peppers, which contain one million SHUs, can even burn a person's
skin if they are touched.

 Luckily the discomfort some people feel after eating spicy foods tends
to go away soon――usually within a few hours. Despite some negative side
effects, spicy foods remain popular around the world and add a flavorful
touch to the table. Remember, it is safe to consume spicy foods, but you
might want to be careful about the amount of peppers you put in your dishes.


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■ スラッシュリーディング

 Consuming chili peppers / can have positive effects / on our health,
/ and / much research has been conducted / into the benefits of capsaicin.
チリペッパーを消費することは / 良い効果を持ち得る / 私たちの健康に
/ そして / 多くの調査が行われてきた / カプサイシンの利点について

When capsaicin activates / the TRPV1 receptor / in a person's body,
/ it is similar / to what happens / when they experience stress or pain
/ from an injury.
カプサイシンが活性化させるとき / TRPV1受容体を / ある人の体の
/ それは似ている / 起こることに / 彼らがストレスや痛みを経験するとき
/ 怪我から



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