JAN 31, 2017 9:53 AM PST

Hot Peppers For Longevity?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Chili peppers are the spice of life in many Asian cuisines - from vindaloos, to curries, to kimchi, the spicier the better. The exquisite but painful burning sensation associated with chili peppers is due to the capsaicin molecules that are most concentrated in their seeds. And while spicy peppers often steal the spotlight in a dish, they also cause quite a stir in medical research.

Scientists continually find evidence that compounds in chili peppers may promote health and have anticancer effects. The latest study reports that people who consume hot chili peppers had a 13 percent reduction in deaths related to heart disease or stroke. Likewise, compounds in the Indian long pepper was recently associated with suppressing a cancer gene. Capsaicin molecules also have been linked with stopping the growth of some breast cancer types.

While more research is necessary to confirm these results, perhaps adding a little more spice to your meals may not be a bad thing!
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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