Eating spicy food linked to longer life, Chinese study suggests

A new study conducted by Chinese researchers linked regular consumption of spicy food, especially fresh or dried chili, to lower risk of early d***h.

Lu Qi, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, said they examined the dietary data collected from 487,375 participants aged 30 to 79 enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank study from 2004 to 2008.

The participants were given questionnaires asking how often they eat hot spicy foods, what are the main sources of spices used when eating spicy meals, their lifestyle behaviors (smoking, drinking alcohol, meat and vegetable intakes), their health and medical history.

Qi and his team followed up with the participants seven years later.

Analysis of data showed that those who consumed spicy foods one or two times a week have a 10 percent reduced risk of d***h compared to those who ate spicy foods less than once a week. Furthermore, the study showed that those who consumed spicy almost foods every day have a 14 percent lower risk of d***h.

The researchers said their study is the first to analyze the association between daily consumption of spicy foods and mortality.

“For the first time, we reported that intake of spicy food might benefit health and lower risk of d***h in a large population. This is significant because consumption of spicy foods is common in many populations. Our findings are in line with previous evidence showing potential protective effects of spicy foods on human health. Capsaicin is the main active component of chili pepper,” the researchers said in their study published in the medical journal The BMJ on Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

They cautioned, however, that more studies are needed to draw a final conclusion and more researches are recommended to further investigate the effects of spicy foods that may lead to “updated dietary recommendations.”