Researchers may have found a way for people to live longer and the answer lies with chili pepper! A new study will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020 that could demonstrate a significantly reduced risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease when people consume chili pepper.

After analyzing 570,000 individuals in the United States, Italy, China and Iran and combing through 4,729 studies, researchers produced four unique studies on the power of chili peppers. So what did they discover?

photo: Timothy Brock via Unsplash

Science has long known the power of capsaicin (what gives peppers their spice) and the capabilities it has in regarding to being an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, anticancer and a possessing a blood-glucose regulating effect. Researchers took it one step further by comparing records of those who regularly consumed chili peppers with those who rarely or never did.

Those who did eat chili pepper had a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality, a 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality and a 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.

“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all cause, CVD and cancer mortality,” said senior author Bo Xu, M.D., cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.

“The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown. Therefore, it is impossible to conclusively say that eating more chili pepper can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer. More research, especially evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.”

While there are still plenty of unknowns, tossing in a little extra chili pepper couldn’t hurt and it will definitely spice up your dinner.

––Karly Wood

 

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