The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hot pepper compound could help hearts

Scientists say latest evidence shows chili peppers have potential to protect against top cause of death in developed world.

Chili pepper By Thinkstock/Imagebank SAN DIEGO — The food that inspires wariness is on course for inspiring even more wonder from a medical standpoint as scientists reported this week the latest evidence that chili peppers are a heart-healthy food with potential to protect against the number one cause of death in the developed world. The report was part of the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, being held in San Diego this week.

The study focused on capsaicin and its fiery-hot relatives, a piquant family of substances termed “capsaicinoids.” The component that gives cayennes, jalapenos, habaneros and other chili peppers their heat, capsaicin already has an established role in medicine in rub-on-the-skin creams to treat arthritis and certain forms of pain. Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form.

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