Researchers say compounds in chili peppers can lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Chili has great potential in fighting heart disease, which is currently the number one cause of death in many developed countries on the world.
Research from Hong Kong University focuses on a group of substances called capsaicinoids found in chili peppers. Dr. Zhen-Yu, the author of this study, said: “Our research enhances and expands our knowledge of how the substances in chili peppers are effective in improving heart health. “There is a clearer picture of the genetic effects and mechanisms that affect cholesterol and blood vessels. This is one of the first studies on this.”
In this study, they fed two groups of hamsters a diet high in cholesterol. Then, one group was given food high in capsaicinoids and the other group ate food that was free of the substance. They then analyzed the results and found that the spicy substance reduced bad cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol accumulation in the body and increasing its excretion from the body. This substance causes the arteries to contract, limiting blood flow to the heart and other organs. As a result, the muscles relax and expand to allow blood vessels to flow.
“We conclude that capsaicinoids are helpful in improving factors affecting heart and blood vessel health. But we also recommend that people not eat too much chili,” said Dr. Zhen. “Good balance is a matter of balance. And remember, chili is no substitute for medicine.”