Study finds eating spicy foods is linked to decreased mortality

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCMH) — If you like spicy food, you might live longer according to researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey III, which followed more than 16,000 Americans for up to 23 years, and examined the data regarding red hot chili pepper consumption. Overall, the study found that adults who ate red hot chili peppers had a 13% lower hazard of death compared to adults who did not.

Researchers say that the findings could be explained by the abilities of capsaicin, the principal component in chili peppers. Capsaicin is an antimicrobial and prevents against obesity, leading to a decreased risk for cardiovascular, lung and metabolic issues. It can also defend against heart disease by modulating coronary blood flow.

The results of the study support the findings of a 2015 study by Tulane University epidemiologist Dr. Lu Qi.