Posted on Dec 23, 2019, 12 p.m.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that those who consume chili peppers on a regular basis enjoy an all cause mortality risk that is 23% lower than that of those who do not consume chili peppers at all.
In collaboration with the University of Insubria Varese, the Mediterranean Cardiocentro Naples and the Istituto Superiore di Sanita Rome, the Department of Epidemiology and Preventions of I.R.C.C.S Neuromed conducted the study examining 22,811 citizens of Italy, following their health status for an average of 8 years and comparing with their eating habits. Those who consumed chili peppers 4 or more times per week on a regular basis were observed to have a 40% reduced risk of dying from a heart attack, and risk for cerebrovascular mortality has reduced by more than half.
"An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed. In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them, chili pepper has a protective effect,” said first author Marialaura Bonaccio, who is also a Neuromed epidemiologist.
"Chili pepper is a fundamental component of our food culture. We see it hanging on Italian balconies, and even depicted in jewels. Over the centuries, beneficial properties of all kinds have been associated with its consumption, mostly on the basis of anecdotes or traditions, if not magic. It is important now that research deals with it in a serious way, providing rigor and scientific evidence. And now, as already observed in China and in the United States, we know that the various plants of the capsicum species, although consumed in different ways throughout the world, can exert a protective action toward health,” expalined Licia Iacoviello, director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed.
Although additional research is required to determine the biochemical mechanisms of how chili peppers and its capsaicin containing relative act, these findings add more reason as to why those who enjoy spicy food should continue to do so.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.