Initial Research Finds That Eating Chili Peppers Could Possibly Lengthen Your Life

Digging in the Driftless

Spice-lovers can celebrate! Early results from a study show some promising developments for people that enjoy eating hot and spicy chili peppers.

A fairly recent study conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) used research from earlier studies done in a variety of different countries on chili peppers. What they found was that individuals that regularly added chili peppers to their diets were “associated with a 25% reduction in death from any cause.”

The study, which was released in late 2020, also found that those whom frequently consumed chili peppers may have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by 26%. The American Heart Association also shared in a statement that it could “cause 23% fewer cancer deaths compared to people who never or only rarely consumed chili pepper.”

The exploration done during research in order to come up with the report used over 4,000 studies from different countries, while the studies also included at least 570,000 participants. The participants were geologically located in a variety of countries including the United States, China, Italy and Iran. The research group also compared the findings between those that consumed chili pepper to those that either rarely or never ate chili peppers at all. When looking at the results, the study analysis managed to discover that individuals that ate chili peppers had the following:

  • A 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality;
  • A 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality
  • A 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality

In fact, the AHA anticipated finding major health benefits from consuming chili peppers. It’s a well-known fact that chili peppers contain anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants, which means that they help slow any damage to the body’s cells.

Although senior writer Dr. Bo Xu, who worked on the study, explained in the study that they were “surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, CVD [cardiovascular disease] and cancer mortality.”

According to the American Heart Association, these are a few of the research highlights below.

  • Chili pepper consumption was associated with a 25% reduction in death from any cause and 23% fewer cancer deaths, compared to people who never or only rarely consumed chili pepper.
  • Consumption of chili pepper may reduce the relative risk of cardiovascular disease mortality by 26%, according to an analysis of diet and mortality data from four large, international studies.

As a matter of fact, the study manages to prove these highlights from the AHA, that there was a “significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer” in those that regularly ate chili peppers. Yet, Dr. Xu also shared that the “exact reasons and mechanisms” for these results are still unknown. Therefore, further studies and research is still needed in order to confirm the results of the initial study.

That is to say, researchers still can’t say undoubtedly that consuming chili peppers will lengthen a person’s life span for certain. But the initial results promise that this is such the case.

The beginning research was shown virtually at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020 during the dates November 13 to 17. This was seen as a “premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research, and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.”

And while the studies may just starting, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little bit of heat to your everyday diet, don’t you think?


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