More chili, longer life
The more often you eat chili, sambal or fresh red peppers, the longer you will likely live. According to an unpublished American meta-study, frequent consumption of red pepper reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Researchers from the American Cleveland Clinic, [clevelandclinic.org] a not-for-profit academic hospital, presented an abstract of their meta-study into the effect of red pepper consumption on mortality in 2020. In this meta-study, the researchers combined the results of 4 previously published epidemiological studies and re-analyzed them.
In total, this gave the researchers access to around half a million people from the United States, China, Iran and Italy.
When the researchers divided the study participants into a group that frequently consumed red pepper and a group that did not, they saw that the risk of death in the former group was a quarter less than that in the other group. Red pepper reduced both the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The researchers suspect that the main active ingredient in red pepper is capsaicin.
"The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown", says cardiologist and study leader Bo Xu, of the Cleveland Clinic's Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. "Therefore, it is impossible to conclusively say that eating more chili pepper can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer."
"More research, especially evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings."
Kaur M, Verma BR, Zhou L, Kaur S, Sammour Y, Lak HM, Xu B. P1036 - Impact of Chilli-pepper Intake on All-cause and Cardiovascular Mortality - A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2020, November 13-17.
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