Chili pepper consumption could help people live longer, says American Heart Association

Chili peppers might just be the spice of life, according to a new study.

The American Heart Association released a statement teasing its findings on Monday, which are set to be presented later this week at a virtual conference titled “Scientific Sessions 2020.”

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Preliminary research has suggested that regular chili pepper consumers could have longer lifespans due to the fruit’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating properties. These factors play a role in reducing a person’s risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to the AHA.

Chili peppers have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating properties. (iStock)

Chili peppers have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating properties. (iStock)

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Researchers who have come to this determination analyzed 4,728 studies related to chili peppers and the aforementioned illnesses.

More than 570,000 health records were included in these studies, which included people from the U.S., Italy, China and Iran. The candidates who ate chili peppers regularly had “a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality; a 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality; and a 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.”

A report on chili pepper consumption and fatal illnesses will be discussed at the Scientific Sessions 2020 conference. (American Heart Association)

A report on chili pepper consumption and fatal illnesses will be discussed at the Scientific Sessions 2020 conference. (American Heart Association)

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“We 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 and cancer mortality,” said the report’s senior author Dr. Bo Xu. “It highlights that dietary factors may play an important role in overall health.”

Although there is data showing that chili pepper eaters appear to have lower risks of dying from a cardiovascular disease or cancer, it cannot be determined with certainty that the spicy plants are solely responsible or contribute to prolonged life.

The candidates who ate chili peppers regularly had a relative reduction in cardiovascular, cancer and all-cause mortality. (American Heart Association)

The candidates who ate chili peppers regularly had a relative reduction in cardiovascular, cancer and all-cause mortality. (American Heart Association)

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He added: “More research, especially evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.”

Of those who ate chili peppers, consumption rates were variable, so it is not clear how much would need to be consumed to offer health benefits.

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