Pepper may help reduce risk of heart disease, study finds

Pepper may help reduce risk of heart disease, study finds

A new review and meta-analysis published in Nature looked at the numerous health benefits of Capsicuum annuum, the species of peppers that includes sweet and hot peppers, including bell peppers and chili peppers. Peppers are already known for their properties that encourage weight loss, but this new paper suggests that they may even reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

Peppers are rich in a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for their spicy, pungent taste. The paper's authors point out that capsaicin is known for its anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and weight-reducing effects. What's more, recently, a new compound in peppers was discovered called capsinoid.

In addition to confirming that Capsicum annuum has a small effect on body weight, the meta-analysis also found a study that associated frequent consumption of spicy foods, like chili peppers, with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Studies in the review indicated that red chili peppers were able to reduce cholesterol levels, which, coupled with the well-demonstrated antioxidant effects of peppers, suggests that eating peppers could reduce your risk of CVD. According to the World Health Organization, most cases of CVD can be prevented by lowering your cholesterol, and as the review's authors point out, consuming antioxidants also reduces your risk of the disease.

The meta-analysis also found that eating peppers could help improve the way your body metabolizes sugar by decreasing inflammation. However, the authors noted that there's a need for more clinical trials on humans to confirm this potential benefit, Yahoo reported.

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