People who eat chili peppers regularly may live longer and have a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a new scientific study has found.


This should delight chili lovers, or those trying to include this food in their cooking.

 A preliminary meta-analysis, soon to be presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, points to a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer in people who consume red pepper.

Previous studies have already highlighted the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and blood sugar regulating effects of consuming chili peppers, due to their high content in capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers which gives it its spiciness.

The American researchers have here examined the results of 4,729 studies, carried out from five global databases on health (Ovid, Cochrane, Medline, Embase and Scopus). Their final analysis was carried out on four large studies including the consumption of peppers. In all, the health and diet records of 570,762 people living in the United States, Italy, China and Iran were used to compare the effects of regular consumption of red chili peppers, compared to that of rarely or never eat them.

As a result, data from people who regularly ate red pepper showed:

a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality;
a 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality;
a 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.

“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili peppers was associated with an overall reduction in the risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. This highlights that dietary factors can play an important role in overall health, ”said Bo Xu, lead author of the meta-analysis and cardiologist with the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio, United States). United). “The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our results, however, are currently unknown. Therefore, it is impossible to say conclusively that eating more chili peppers can prolong life and reduce death, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer. More research, in particular evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary results, ”said the researcher.

Still, red pepper has many other proven health benefits (especially due to its richness in vitamins and minerals), and therefore has its place in reasonable quantities as part of a varied and balanced diet, and a healthy, non-sedentary lifestyle.