Question Your World: Can Eating Chili Peppers Make You Live Longer?

Posted: May 31, 2017
Food Health

At some point in our lives, we’ve all been told that eating hot chili peppers will clear up your sinuses, right? Recently, scientists asked a different, but related question: Can eating hot chili peppers make you live longer?

Scientists recently concluded a long study - 16,000 Americans for 23 years! After studying the same participants for over 2 decades, they were able to see that some of the participants somehow avoided heart diseases and strokes. To see what variables factored in here, they looked at diet and narrowed it down to the consumption of hot red chili peppers.

This research does not show why these peppers were a variable in longevity, but it does show a correlation between those who ate the hot peppers and avoiding stroke and heart disease. Further research is needed, but now scientists have at least found something to dig into further, capsaicin.

Capsaicin is the part of the pepper responsible for the heat that we feel when we eat them. This is not the first time that capsaicin and health science have intersected. This hot red chili pepper ingredient is also associated with reducing joint pain when used in a cream. Other studies have also concluded that this element impacts the body’s ability to fight cancer cells. Clearly, this has been something that scientists have been interested in for some time now.

The place in our body where capsaicin seems to interact the most is the TRP Channels that line our cell membranes. These channels act somewhat like microscopic thermometers in our body and come in a variety of structural types. Now, after the 23 year of testing on 16,000 Americans, scientists are ready to dig in deeper to better understand how capsaicin and our TRP channels interact with one another.

As stated earlier, more testing is needed to figure out exactly what’s going on here, but this study builds further proof that eating red-hot chili peppers may be way better for your than listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers.