People Who Regularly Eat Chilli Peppers Live Longer, Study Suggests
If you’re looking for an excuse to order that Indian takeaway at the weekend, this is it. Eating chilli peppers could make you live longer.
New research suggests that people who regularly eat chilli peppers could live longer, and have ‘a significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer.’
Scientists looked into 4,729 chilli pepper studies, including four large studies that looked into the health implications of consuming the spicy fruit (yes, fruit).
The team then looked at the health and diet records of some 570,000 people spanning across Italy, Iran, China and the United States, in a bid to compare the health of those who regularly consume chillies to those who rarely or never eat them.
Overall, the research suggested that chilli-eaters are less likely to die from cancer or heart problems, as they had a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality, a 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality and a 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.
Bo Xu, senior author of the study and cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, explained, as per the Independent:
We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chilli pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.
It highlights that dietary factors may play an important role in overall health.
However, he went on to add, ‘the exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown.’
‘Therefore, it is impossible to conclusively say that eating more chilli pepper can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer,’ Xu continued.
‘More research, especially evidence from randomised controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.’
As a result of analysing a number of different studies, conducted by a number of different international groups, the amount and type of chilli pepper consumed varied a lot, which makes it impossible to determine just how much chilli contributes to the alleged health benefits.
The team are now continuing their research into the impacts of chilli pepper consumption and once they have finalised the analysis of their data, they are expected to publish a full paper. In the meantime, they will present their findings this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020.
For now, it’s another reason for people who order ‘hot’ at Nando’s to be extra smug.
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