NOV 14, 2020 10:46 AM PST

Chili Peppers May Help Us Live Longer

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researchers presented preliminary data at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2020 that suggested that eating chili peppers can help people extend their lifespan, and could have a significant influence on the reduction of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk.

Image credit: Pxfuel

The researchers analyzed health and dietary records from over 570,000 Americans, Italians, Chinese, and Iranians and compared health outcomes for people who had reported consuming chili pepper and those who rarely or never ate it.

This work confirmed previous studies that have suggested that chili peppers have an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and blood sugar-regulating impact when they're eaten. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is thought to be the reason for these observations.

Compared to those that did not, people that ate chili peppers had a 26 percent reduction in death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), a 23 percent reduction in death from cancers, and an overall 25 percent reduction in 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. It highlights that dietary factors may play an important role in overall health," said the senior research author Bo Xu, M.D., a 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," Dr. Xu continued.

Dr. Xu also noted that this study has several limitations. It encompassed a review of four studies, and there was only limited data on the specifics of individuals' health or other factors that may be affecting the findings.

There are also many types of chili peppers, with varying amounts of capsaicin, and which were consumed at different levels. It's challenging to identify specific types of peppers that might be better than others who may have certain effects.

Sources: AAAS/Eurekalert! via American Heart Association

About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUN 23, 2022
Cardiology
Nordic Walking Improves Life for Heart Disease Patients
JUN 23, 2022
Nordic Walking Improves Life for Heart Disease Patients
A new study has shown that Nordic walking improves functional capacity and other symptoms in heart disease patients.
JUN 29, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
New Study Shows Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Adult Cancer Survivors
JUN 29, 2022
New Study Shows Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Adult Cancer Survivors
With modern diagnostics and treatments, cancer survival rates continue to improve. Though numbers vary depending on the ...
AUG 09, 2022
Cardiology
Frequent Naps Linked to High Blood Pressure
AUG 09, 2022
Frequent Naps Linked to High Blood Pressure
Frequent napping during the day is associated with a 12% higher risk of high blood pressure and 24% higher risk of strok ...
SEP 13, 2022
Cardiology
Extreme Weather Threatens Heart Health
SEP 13, 2022
Extreme Weather Threatens Heart Health
Both unusually cold and unusually hot weather have been linked to heart disease deaths.
NOV 03, 2022
Cardiology
Time-restricted Eating Improves Cardiovascular Health in Firefighters
NOV 03, 2022
Time-restricted Eating Improves Cardiovascular Health in Firefighters
Reducing eating time to a 10-hour window improves quality of life and health measures.
NOV 15, 2022
Cardiology
Obesity Drug Effective in Both Adults and Teens
NOV 15, 2022
Obesity Drug Effective in Both Adults and Teens
Adolescent participants decreased their BMI by an average of 16% in a new study.
Loading Comments...