Spicy food could be the secret to a healthy heart and a longer life

Jan 19: If you're a fan of spicy food you're in a luck, as a new study has suggested that eating chilli peppers could be the secret to a longer life. Researchers from the University of Vermont analysed over 16,000 American men who had completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994. They found that over a period of 19 years roughly 34 per cent of the men died, but when data was limited to just those who consumed chilli peppers this number dropped to just 22 per cent.

The results, published in the journal Plos One, suggested that the 13 per cent lower risk of death could have something to do with a the 'capsaicin' found in the peppers. Capsaicin is commonly used in treating arthritis and works as an effective painkiller.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Benjamin Litternberg explained that capsaicin component of the chillies seemed to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body: "The types of deaths that were lowest in the pepper group were deaths due to vascular disease, heart attacks and stroke." Litternberg said his teams findings support the results of a similar 2015 study linking spicy food intake to a reduced risk of death by showing "a significant decrease in mortality associated with hot red chilli pepper consumption." The study of nearly 500,000 Chinese people over seven years found that those who ate spicy food three times a week cut their risk of dying by 14 per cent compared with people who didn't. However Litternberg added that correlation does not necessarily prove causation and further studies would be needed to come to a concrete conclusion on whether eat hot peppers could truly benefit your health: "There's a whole bunch of better, stronger, more convincing ways to improve your health than to go on a chilli pepper diet." AGENCIES

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