Consuming chili pepper linked to lower all-cause, CV, cancer-related mortality
The regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with significantly lower all-cause, CV and cancer-related mortality, according to findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
“Previously published population-based studies have reported that consumption of chili pepper reduced all-cause mortality. The benefit of chili pepper is attributed to the chemical compound capsaicin, with potential cardioprotective, weight-reducing and anti-tumorigenic effects,” Manpreet Kaur, MD, doctor in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich department of cardiovascular medicine at Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart Vascular and Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues wrote. “However, the prior studies are nonrandomized and there is a lack of medical equipoise on this topic, making it difficult to derive causal inference between chili pepper consumption and mortality. Further, the mode and quantity of chili pepper intake need further evaluation to develop a standardized approach to achieve optimal health benefits.”
Researchers identified four observational studies that reported the impact of chili pepper consumption on all-cause, CV and cancer-related mortality as well as cerebrovascular accidents.
All-cause mortality among those who consumed chili peppers was lower compared with rare/nonconsumers in the random-effects pooled analysis (HR = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.85-0.9; P < .0001; I2 = 1%). This was also observed for CV mortality (HR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74-0.95; P = .005; I2 = 66%) and cancer-related mortality (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.87-0.97; P = .001; I2 = 0%).
In addition, researchers observed no association between chili pepper consumption and cerebrovascular accidents (HR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.56-1.09; P = .26; I2 = 60%).
The mode and chili pepper consumption amount varied across the evaluated studies and data were insufficient to design an optimal strategy to guide chili pepper consumption, the researchers noted.
“Future studies to better understand the mechanisms mediating these potential health benefits, as well as to characterize the optimal amount, type and frequency of chili pepper consumption are needed,” the researchers wrote.