Harvard Researchers Link Spicy Food to Lower Risk of Death

posted: 08/05/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Chili Peppers

Break out the chile peppers! A Harvard study finds that daily consumers of spicy food have a 14% lower risk of death.

The study, which is published in the Aug. 4 edition of the journal BMJ, also finds that consumers of spicy food have a lower chance of dying from heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases.

Researchers followed nearly 500,000 registrants of the China Kadoore Biobank for seven years, tracking their eating habits and mortality rates. Among the nearly 20,000 deaths reported during the study, fewer came from regular consumers of spicy food.

Fresh and dried chili peppers were among the most commonly consumed spices by study participants. Previous research has suggested that capsaicin, a compound found in some peppers, could reduce obesity, inflammation and cancer rates, although researchers have not yet definitively linked the compound to lower mortality rates.

Your chile-infused tequila, however, might not be quite as beneficial: researchers indicate that alcohol consumers had a slightly higher mortality rate than their sober counterparts.

"The findings are highly novel," remarked study co-lead author Lu Qi. "To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first reporting a link between spicy food intake and mortality."

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