Here's Why Red Chili Peppers Could Hold Secrets To A Longer Life

Healthy And Delicious?

Healthy And Delicious?

If you're anything like me, then you love spicy foods. I mean, who doesn't?!

In great news for chili lovers, new research suggests that it could actually be pretty darn good for you too.

Longer Life?

Longer Life?

Researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, published a paper which seems to suggest that people who eat red hot chili peppers have a 13% lower risk of mortality.



The Right Chilies

The Right Chilies

Now, we could sit around and make jokes about how guys like Anthony Keidis and Michael "Flea" Balzary wouldn't appreciate us ingesting parts of their bodies, but let's get serious here for moment...

Win-Win

Win-Win

Is this research really telling us that eating red hot chili peppers may actually afford us a longer life during which to enjoy them? That sounds like a total win/win-type situation to me! Well, maybe not for the individual chilies themselves, but for me...



Year In The Making

Year In The Making

Dr. Benjamin Littenberg and medical student Mustafa Chopa called upon data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III, which tracked around sixteen thousand people from the United States for about six years from 1988 to 1994, then a vital status report in 2001.

Those Who Eat The Most

Those Who Eat The Most

The researchers found some interesting results in among all that data. They found that those who tended to eat the most chili were unmarried “younger, male, white, Mexican-American"s.



Higher and Lower

Higher and Lower

While they also tended to “to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats," as the data suggested, they also had “lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and lower education.”

What They Found

What They Found

The two researchers then saw the next step as analyzing the median follow-up and had a look at the number of deaths and the way in which those people died.

What they concluded was that people who ate more red hot chili peppers lived longer.



One Other Study

One Other Study

There has only ever been one other study in to the area and that was in China during 2015. The results from that particular research tend to back up that of Littenberg and Chopa.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilies. It's what makes them hot. While this is considered something of an irritant to people in that, when it comes in contact with your skin, it produces a burning sensation, it is also thought to play a role in cellular mechanism which, not only help prevent obesity, but may also have a positive effect in lowering the risk of lung and metabolic diseases.



Should We Eat As Much Chili As Possible?

Should We Eat As Much Chili As Possible?

This might seem like cause to run out and buy more hot chilies, then cook a big old spicy feast that involves as much of those delicious little red things as possible. But first, perhaps we should have a look at Littenberg's comments on a Reddit post concerning the subject...

Probably...

Probably...

As the doctor points out;

"1) We showed association, not causality.

2) The association is probably not due to simple random error.

3) It is probably not due to confounding by the social and lifestyle factors we were able to adjust for.

4) It could be due to some other factor that we couldn't measure (or can't even imagine!) that is associated with both pepper consumption and mortality.

5) Even if it is a true causal relationship, the study doesn't say much about the potential mechanisms. Capsaicin is a possibility, but there are many others.

6) Even if it is a true causal relationship, that doesn't mean that if you start eating more hot red chili peppers, you will live longer."

Yeah, well I probably don't need another reason to go and buy more chilies!