Chili Peppers May Decrease Risk of Dying from Heart Attack and Stroke
Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is the component that gives them their spicy flavor. Previous studies have shown that capsaicin may relieve pain, help with weight loss, and improve digestive health. Now a new study suggests that regular consumption of chili peppers may help reduce the risk of death from heart attack or stroke.
Participants in the study included 22,811 adults who took part in the Moli-Sani Study in Southern Italy. They filled out food frequency questionnaires and the researchers used the information to calculate chili pepper intake. The participants were classified as non-consumers, consumers up to 2 times per week, consumers between 2 and 4 times per week, and consumers more than 4 times per week. Their health status was recorded for an average of 8.2 years.
Participants who consumed chili peppers more than 4 times per week were found to have a 40% decreased risk of dying from a heart attack compared to those who never consumed chili peppers. They also had a 50% decreased risk of dying from a stroke.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed). It was published online ahead of print on December 16, 2019 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.