Hot peppers might help decrease mortality, suggests a new study published in PLoS ONE.
Live longer by consuming hot red chili peppers! A new study from the University of Vermont links the spicy food with a 13% decreased mortality due to heart disease or stroke.
Boosting lifespan is one of the greatest worries of mankind—what to do to live longer, what to eat to ‘postpone’ death, goes the mind of many. The answer might partly be in red chili peppers which appear to protect against dying from heart problems. As a matter of fact, peppers and spices have been used as medicine for centuries on end. But, science has only recently suggested that chili pepper might be associated with mortality. A 2015 research hinted at the link, and the new study supports the previous findings.
Study author medical student Mustafa Chopan and Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg put their minds together to analyse data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III which involves over 16,000 Americans to find any possible links with the consumption of red chili pepper. Their results show that those who eat the food would generally have certain characteristics, such as being younger and being male, and having lower HDL cholesterol. The number of deaths among the participants and the causes of mortality were also examined with respect to the consumption of the hot pepper. The authors, therefore, reached to the conclusion that the food might be accounting for decreased mortality (13%).
The researchers also suggest the probable mechanism through which this link is brought about, the secret agent possibly being capsaicin, the main component in the pepper.
“Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin (the principal component in chili peppers), may in part be responsible for the observed relationship,” say the study authors.
Capsaicin is thought to have a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that work to prevent obesity and regulate coronary blood flow. It is also known for its antimicrobial properties which may be positively influencing the gut microbiota of those consuming it.
“Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper—or even spicy food—consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” says Chopan.