Want to live longer? Eating red chilli may extend lifespan

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Want to live longer? Eating red chilli may extend lifespan

Posted on : Monday 16th of January 2017

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Do you love spicy food? If so, here's some good news for you - a new study has linked eating hot red chilli peppers to a reduction in total mortality.

The study found that daily consumption of hot red chilli peppers can lead to a 13 per cent reduction in total mortality, primarily in heart disease or stroke.

People who regularly ate hot red chilli peppers also showed lower cholesterol.

Although the researchers are not certain about the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality, "transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin -- the principal component in chilli peppers -- may in part be responsible for the observed relationship," said Mustafa Chopan from University of Vermont in the US.

Capsaicin 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," Chopan said.

Peppers and spices have been for centuries thought to be beneficial in the treatment of diseases.

For the study, researchers examined data from more than 16,000 Americans over a 23-year time period from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, or NHANES.

The results found that consumers of hot 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.

Meanwhile, a study in Journal of Biological Chemistry suggests the Indian long pepper may hold key for new anti-cancer drug as it contains a chemical that could stop your body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumors in large numbers.

"Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper - or even spicy food - consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials," says Chopan.

The study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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