Spice Up Your Life With Hot Peppers to Live Longer
Eating spicy food like red hot chili peppers lengthens life span, according to a study conducted by the researchers from Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.
According to the study, consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke.
This study was published recently in PLoS ONE.
The Wonder Component in Red Hot Chili Peppers
Peppers and spices have been known to be good antioxidants and its benefits are limitless. But there is something interesting about chili pepper and that it contains pungent agents such as capsaicin, a compound that makes chili peppers hot and boasts analgesic properties.
According to a medical student Mustafa Chopan and Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg, M.D., the study authors, capsaicin is believed to play a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow, and also possesses antimicrobial properties that “may indirectly affect the host by altering the gut microbiota.”
“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, the active ingredient in chili peppers, is responsible for hot peppers’ spicy kicks.
There are already prominent studies on the association of consumption of hot peppers and mortality. One study was conducted in China and published in 2015.
This new study corroborates the earlier study’s findings.
The researchers gathered data using using National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III. Data were collected from more than 16,000 Americans who were followed for up to 23 years. The researchers then examined the baseline characteristics of the participants according to hot red chili pepper consumption.
What they found out was interesting. The study authors found that consumers of hot red chili peppers tended to be “younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats . . . had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education,” in comparison to participants who did not consume red chili peppers.