Study shows that red chilli peppers are good for health.
Washington D.C: From now on, who-so-ever asks you not to have spicy food, here’s the reply for them! A study conducted by the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont has found that consumption of red chilli peppers is associated with a 13 per cent reduction in total mortality, primarilydue to heart disease or stroke.
For centuries, peppers and spices were thought to be beneficial in the treatment of diseases, but only one study, conducted in China that was published in 2015, has examined chilli pepper consumption and its association with mortality. This study, published recently in PLoS ONE, corroborated the earlier study’s findings.
Using National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III data, collected from over 16,000 Americans, who were followed for up to 23 years, researchers examined the baseline characteristics of the participants, according to red chilli pepper consumption.
They found that consumers of red chilli 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 chilli peppers.
They examined data from a median follow-up of 18.9 years and observed the number of deaths and then analysed specific causes of death. “Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential 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,” said the study authors.
As stated by researchers, there are some explanations for red chilli peppers’ health benefits. Among them are that capsaicin, the principal component in chilli peppers, is believed to play a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow, and also possesses anti-microbial properties that “may indirectly affect the host by altering the gut microbiota.”
“Because our study adds to the generalisability of previous findings, chilli pepper, or even spicy food, consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” they stated.