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Eating hot peppers associated with longer life, study finds



Ever wondered how toxic eating a hot chili pepper might be?

If so, then you might want to think again. Because, according to a new study, initiated by the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, consuming hot chili pepper could help you live longer.

As published in PLoS ONE, researchers used the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III to collect data from 16,000 participants in the US.

All participants were followed and examined for up to 23 years, where researchers observed the total number and causes of death.

On average, consumers of hot chili peppers were: “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.”

Based on the data, however, consumers of hot chili peppers had a 13 percent reduction in mortality, especially in heart attacks and stroke, UPI reported.

“Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) 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 lead researcher.

But some may still wonder, why hot peppers?

In a hot chili pepper is an active component called capsaicin. It is believed that capsaicin plays a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms which reduce the chances of developing obesity.

Additionally, it helps improve blood flow and promotes antimicrobial properties, indirectly affecting the gut microbiota.

The study’s findings corroborated a previous study conducted in China, yielding similar results. This study was published in 2015.


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