Eating chili peppers would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease



  • Capsaicin, the molecule responsible for the burning sensation caused by chili peppers, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • According to several studies, the consumption of peppers would also reduce the risk of cancer and the risk of mortality, all diseases combined.

The chili is full of goodness. In addition to its gustatory aspect, which enhances any dish, it could also be involved in reducing heart risks. The preliminary study, conducted by researchers from the University of Cleveland (United States), was presented on November 10, 2020 during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020 online conference.

Previous studies had already shown that the consumption of peppers had an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effect and could also regulate blood sugar. All these benefits are said to be due to capsaicin, the molecule found in chilli, responsible for the burning sensation when it comes into contact with our mucous membranes.

The benefits of capsaicin

To analyze the effects of chili pepper on mortality and cardiovascular disease, the researchers first looked at 4,729 studies on the subject. They also searched the health and food records of 570,762 people in the United States, China, Italy and Iran. Taking these different data, the aim was to determine the repercussions on their health, based on their consumption of peppers or not.

The results found that in people who ate chili peppers, the risk of cardiovascular mortality was reduced by 26% compared to those who did not. Likewise, cancer mortality decreases by 23% among chili lovers. Finally, the risk of all-cause mortality was reduced by 25% in chilli eaters compared to others.

We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular pepper consumption was associated with an overall reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer. This shows that dietary factors can play an important role in overall health “says Bo Xu, a cardiologist at the University of Cleveland Medical Center and lead author of the study.

Preliminary results requiring further study

While early results seem encouraging in favor of chilli consumption, Bo Xu is still cautious about these conclusions, which he says require further research. “The exact reasons and mechanisms that could explain our results, however, are currently unknown. It is therefore impossible to definitively state that eating more chili peppers can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially those due to cardiovascular factors or cancer.

What motivates Bo Xu to have such reserves comes mainly from the variables of the analyzed studies, which do not all apply the same protocol, especially regarding the exact amount of chili consumed by each participant. Furthermore, according to him, other factors not taken into consideration could have influenced the results.

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