Spicy Food May Help You Live Longer
A new study in China has found that the more spicy food you eat, the longer you may live.
While previous studies have found certain bioactive agents in spices that are beneficial in fighting obesity and heart disease, the latest research focused on the possible connection between disease and how much you consume spicy food.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences analyzed data from a study of more than half a million adults from all regions of China. For 7.2 years, they followed 487,375 people, ages 30 to 79. Each participant was enrolled from 2004 to 2008 and they completed a questionnaire about their health and consumption of spicy foods, red meat, vegetables, and alcohol. When researchers followed up with participants, they found that:
People who reported eating spicy foods three to seven days a week were 14 percent less likely to have died than participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week.
People who ate spicy food once or twice a week were at a 10 percent reduced risk of dying compared with people who ate spicy foods less often than once a week.
Reduced risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases was associated with frequent consumption of spicy foods, with this risk being more pronounced among women than man
The most commonly used spices were fresh and dried chili peppers
The study, published in the _British Medical Journal (BMJ),_drew no conclusions about cause and effect, but noted that capsaicin, the main ingredient in chili peppers, has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.