A new study by researchers at the University of Vermont concludes that eating Hot Chili Peppers regularly can prolong your life significantly. The thing is, they’re not sure why. Nevertheless, they say their findings are conclusive and they’re supported by at least one other study on the issue…
The study involved analysis of massive amounts of data gathered by the U.S. National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III, in which 16,179 Americans were followed up regularly for 23 years. Dr. Benjamin Littenberg looked at the baseline indicators of health among the survey participants, ranking them based on Hot Chili Pepper consumption. What he found was remarkable.
“Compared with participants who did not consume hot red chili peppers, those who did consume them were more likely to be younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats. They had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education,” the survey report says.
But the biggest news was yet to come!
“Adults who consumed Hot Red Chili Peppers had a 13% lower hazard of death [overall], compared to those who did not.”
Littenberg and his team say they aren’t sure how the Hot Red Chili Pepper connection works, but it is definitely real. Also, the results of an earlier Chinese study along the same lines agrees closely with those of the University of Vermont study, though the data in each survey were drawn from completely different population bases. That seems to indicate that the benefits of Hot Red Chili Peppers are not specific to any race of culture.
What does this all mean for the future?
“Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, Chili Pepper — or even spicy food — consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” says medical student Mustafa Chopan, who assisted Littenberg in the work.
Much of the research already done on Hot Red Chili Peppers has focused on Capsaicin, the ingredient that creates the ‘heat’ on a diner’s palate. It has also been shown to be a potent anti-oxidant and anti-microbial agent. These effects alone could account for a significant portion of the overall benefits uncovered in the Littenberg survey, contributing to increased longevity.
We may not be ready to declare Hot Red Chili Peppers a dietary necessity with daily recommended consumption ‘doses’, it appears safe to say that just eating more Hot Red Chili Peppers every week
~ Maggie J.