Hypertension can now be controlled by munching on this yummy pepper. Chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, because of a compound called capsaicin, that can set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows. The study was reported in the August issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.
“We found that long-term dietary consumption of capsaicin, one of the most abundant components in chili peppers, could reduce blood pressure in genetically hypertensive rats,” said Zhiming Zhu of Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China.
The study isn’t the first to look for a molecular link between capsaicin and lower blood pressure. However, earlier studies were based on acute or short-term exposure to the chemical, with some conflicting results. Zhu says their study is the first to examine the effects of long-term treatment with capsaicin in rats with high blood pressure.
It isn’t yet clear just how many capsaicin-containing chilli peppers a day you’d have to eat to “keep the doctor away.”
So bite into a few, today.
The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.