Published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a seven year study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has concluded that regular consumption of spicy goods may lower long-term mortality risks.
In a study group of 487,375 participants, 20,224 died over the period. Mortality risks were 14% lower in participants who consumed spicy foods six or seven times a week than those who ate such goods rarely.
Criticism has been levelled at the study for failing to consider other factors besides the consumption of chilis as lowering mortality risks.
The active compound in chilli is capsaicin which leads to a burning sensation upon contact with mucous membranes. This is why spicy food is spicy.
Capsaicin has also been argued as having anti-obesity properties.
Speaking to The Independent, principal dietician at St George’s Hospital, Catherine Collins, said that the study was not “sufficiently persuasive” to lead to dramatic changes in regular diets.
By Hal Breen