The Effects of Spicy Food

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According to a new study from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, people who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14% chance of living longer than those who consume spicy foods less than once a week. They also found that people who regularly eat spicy foods are less likely to die from cancer, heart and respiratory diseases than their counterparts who eat spicy foods less frequently.

The study appeared online August 4, 2015 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Health and dietary data was gathered from a group of 487,375 people ages 30-79, who enrolled between 2004-2008. Over the 7.2 years in which they were followed, the study found that fresh and dried chili peppers were the most commonly used spices by the Chinese study population. The capsaicin found in these fiery peppers is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

“Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause-specific mortality: population based cohort study,” Jun Lv, Lu Qi, Canqing Yu, Ling Yang, Yu Guo, Yiping Chen, Dianjianyi Sun, Jianwei Du, Pengfei Ge, Zhenzhu Tang, Wei Hou, Yanjie Li, Junshi Chen, Zhengming Chen, Liming Li, BMJ, online August 4, 2015, doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4932

Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD

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