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Spicy Food Linked with Longer Life

Stashed in: #health, Science!, Awesome, Longevity!, Nutrition!, Hot Sauce!, Inflammation, Microbiome, Longevity

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This study looked at almost 500,000 subjects in China for about 7 years. It concluded that eating chiles only once a week was correlated with a 10% lower mortality rate during the study -- possibly due to reduced inflammation or healthier gut bacteria.

Spicy food also improves breakdown of fat in the body, according to that article.

Spicy food is not in their companion article 7 ways to live past 100, however:

Spicy food is the eighth way!

One caveat: the study was observational, so it is too early to tell whether there is a causal relationship between eating spicy food and lower mortality.

Said study author Lu Qi, an associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, "We definitely need more data from other populations."

The researchers don't know why exactly the consumption of spicy food may be linked to lower mortality, but previous research on cells and animals has suggested several possible mechanisms, Qi said. For example, the consumption of spicy foods has been shown to lower inflammation, improve the breakdown of fat in the body and change the composition of gut bacteria, he said.

In the study, the researchers also asked the participants to specify the main sources of spices they typically used, allowing them to choose between fresh chili pepper, dried chili pepper, chili sauce and chili oil. Fresh and dried chili peppers were the most frequently used types of spices among the people who ate spicy food at least once a week, the researchers said.

However, "itis unclear whether the observed associations are the direct result of chili intake, or whether chili is simply a marker for other beneficial but unmeasured dietary components," said Nita Forouhi, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study, in a editorial published with the study in the journal.

At this point, researchers don't know for sure whether eating spicy foods can have a beneficial effect on human health and mortality, Forouhi wrote. "Future research is needed to establish whether spicy food consumption has the potential to improve health and reduce mortalitydirectly, or if it is merely a marker of other dietary and lifestyle factors," she said.

We must do more research! We have to go deeper!

Does that mean you're on the team and going to start eating habaneros?  We need your data point Adam!

I'm starting with jalapeños. Will work my way up. :)

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