Eating Red Hot Chili Peppers Decreases Mortality, Say Researchers
A large new study finds a relationship between consumption of hot red peppers and mortality.
You might consider adding some spice to your diet as researchers found a 13% decrease in the total mortality rate of people who ate hot red chili peppers. That’s right - a Sriracha addiction may pay off.
This new study is only one of two studies on this subject, confirming the findings of a 2015 Chinese study. Scientists from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont examined data from 16,000 Americans who were followed for up to 23 years. The mortality rate for people who ate chili peppers was 21.6%. This is in comparison to the 33.6% rate of mortality among those who didn’t. The difference in numbers is largely because of a decrease in deaths due to heart disease and stroke in the chili-pepper-consuming group.
How specifically do chili peppers help decrease mortality? The main component of chili peppers called “capsaicin” may be the reason.
”Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin (the principal component in chili peppers), may in part be responsible for the observed relationship," write the authors Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg, M.D. and medical student Mustafa Chopan '17.
While further research is necessary, scientists propose some explanations of how capsaicin could be making a difference. This component could be positively affecting cellular and molecular mechanisms which are linked to obesity and control coronary blood flow. In particular, capsaicin could be fighting high cholesterol, help metabolize fat breakdown, reducing likelihood of diabetes and stopping tumors. It could also have antimicrobial qualities, positively affecting the microbiota of the gut.
The scientists think their work might result in people needing to eat more spicy food.
“Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper—or even spicy food - consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials," said Chopan.
If you weren't excited enough about chili peppers at this point, here's a video from a hot pepper eating contest:
COVER PHOTO: This photo taken on July 2, 2016 shows contestants taking part in a chilli pepper-eating competition in Lijiang, southwest China's Yunnan province. The first prize was won by a man from Chengdu as he ate 47 chilli peppers in two minutes. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.
- The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes.
- The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots.
- In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.