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Medicinal Food: Eating Spicy Food Helps People Live Longer

Update Date: Jan 16, 2017 02:28 AM EST

In Eastern cultures, spicy food particularly made from peppers are regarded for its medicinal and health benefits and these have been proven by numerous studies. A recent paper focuses on the consumption of hot red chili peppers in the US and claims that eating spicy foods help people live longer.

The study conducted by researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont aims to analyze the correlation of hot red chili pepper consumption and mortality in the United States. The study was conducted using data collected from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHNES) III from more than 16,000 Americans.

In the course of 23 years, participants of the study were monitored on their consumption of hot red chili peppers and other lifestyle factors.

The researchers found that people who eat hot red chili peppers tended to be young, white, Mexican-Americans. These men were also most likely married and tend to smoke and drink alcohol but consume more meat and vegetables.

The study found that males who consume hot red chili peppers have lower cholesterol levels but also have lower incomes and less education compared to participants of the survey who did not consume hot red chili peppers.

Further, the consumption of red hot chili peppers reduces death caused by heart disease or stroke by at least 13 percent. From the 4,946 deaths reported during the duration of the study, 21.6 percent of the dead participants ate red hot chili peppers compared to the 33.6 percent dead participants who did not consume red hot chili peppers.

In other words, eating spicy food, particularly those made with red hot chili peppers, live longer than those who don't eat them.

The result of the study published in PLOS ONE corroborates the result of the study conducted in China. The study from China provided the most convincing clinical benefits of peppers. The Chinese study concludes that the consumption of peppers reduces the risk of mortality from all causes, cancer, respiratory, and cardiovascular disease.

Other experiments conducted in India and the US have also proven the lower cancer incidence in the production and presumably consumption of spices.

The study conducted in the United States is limited to the consumption of hot red chili peppers. The researchers note that dried and fresh peppers were considered in the study. Their study also slightly differs from the study conducted in China from the consumption of the type and amount of peppers.

The researchers want to investigate other spices for its medicinal and health benefits, particularly other chili pepper subtypes. The study is just one of the numerous done that gives insight into the relationship between diet and health particularly the consumption of spice foods.

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