A recent study suggests that eating chili peppers may help you live longer. Researchers found that eating spicy peppers was associated with a 12 percent decreased risk of death, particularly from heart problems or stroke.
Researchers looked at data from more than 16,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1988 and 1994. *NHANES is an annual survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that collects information about Americans’ health and eating habits. After adjusting for factors such as education levels, ethnicity, and lifestyles, researchers found that individuals who ate chili peppers as part of their diets had a lower risk of dying during the study as compared to individuals who did not consume chili peppers.
A possible explanation of the findings centers on capsaicin, the component of chili peppers that is responsible for the peppers “heat”.
Capsaicin has anti-microbial properties and could potentially alter the bacterial balance in the gut helping to protect against obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Although there appears to be strong correlative evidence between chili pepper consumption and a lowered risk of mortality from heart disease, researchers warn that the study does not prove that eating chili peppers will make you live longer. The analysis was done on data from a broader dietary study and not an experiment specifically designed to demonstrate “cause and effect” of chili pepper consumption.
Original article: Live Science