There is now one more reason to enjoy chilies with your food. New research shows that chili peppers contain a blood pressure reducing ingredient. Researchers at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China have made a breakthrough with capsaicin, the naturally occurring component in chilies that are so beneficial for blood pressure.
“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. Zhu explained that this study clarifies some studies that had attempted to varify whether capsaicin actually reduced blood pressure. Their results are the first to document a long term cause and effect relationship between chilies and blood pressure. This study can also be seen as good news for members of the public who don’t like spicy food. A compound similar to capsaicin called capsinoids is found in a mild Japanese chili. “Limited studies show that these capsinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin,” Zhu says. “I believe that some people can adopt this sweet pepper.”