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The consumption of hot red chillies can lead to a longer life
Spicy food leads to health problems in some people, such as diarrhea and heartburn. But the views on the effects of spicy food differ widely. There are also many people who think spicy meals are extremely healthy. Researchers have now found that eating spicy food can increase life expectancy.
Scientists from Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermony found in an investigation that eating spicy food can lead to a longer life. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "PLOS one".
Regular consumption of red chilies reduces overall mortality during the study period
Doctors and medical professionals have long been looking for ways to increase human life expectancy. But could the solution really be simple hot red chillies? In their investigation, the experts claim to have found that the consumption of red chillies is associated with a reduction in overall mortality of around 13 percent during the study period.
Chinese study also examined the effect of red chillies on mortality
This reduction in mortality is mainly due to the reduction in deaths from heart diseases and heart attacks, the authors explain. So far, there has been only one similar study in China that looked at the effects of red chilli consumption on our health and its association with mortality. This study was published in 2015.
Study examines data from more than 16,000 Americans
For their current study, the scientists examined the health and nutritional data of more than 16,000 Americans over a period of 23 years. It was found that the consumption of red chili peppers increases life expectancy, say the experts. In the study, it was noticed that the regular chili consumers were mostly young, male, white Americans with Mexican roots. They were mostly married, often smokers, drank alcohol and ate a lot of vegetables and meat, the researchers explain. Such consumers had lower levels of their so-called HDL cholesterol, lower incomes and less education compared to participants who did not consume chilli peppers, the scientists add.
Capsaicin could be involved in the reduced mortality
The exact explanation of why chillies delay mortality remains unclear. The researchers believe that everything is related to the capsaicin it contains. This is the main component of chili peppers. The capsaicin affects the so-called Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels in the body. Several of these channels convey a variety of sensations. These include, for example, sensations of pain, warmth or cold and various types of taste, pressure and visual stimuli.
Garlic, chilli and wasabi activate the so-called TRP channels
Some TRP channels appear to behave like microscopic thermometers. So they can be used to feel hot or cold. The channels are activated by molecules contained in spices such as garlic, chilli and wasabi.
Capsaicin can prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow
The study authors Mustafa Chopan and Benjamin Littenberg from the University of Vermony explain in their study that capsaicin contained in chilli plays an important role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow.
More research is needed
Capsaicin also has antimicrobial properties and these can indirectly influence the host itself by changing the so-called human intestinal flora, the researchers explain. More research is now needed on the effects of spicy food. Additional clinical trials must be performed before red chillies and spicy foods can be included in recommendations and dietary guidelines, the scientists conclude. (as)