New studies reveal that we should all be getting a little hot this winter, with chillies being one of the best superfoods to burn away health troubles
There have been numerous scientific studies conducted claiming that spices such as chilli can help fight cancers and a host of other diseases, effectively killing cancer cells in the process.
A study publicised by the New Scientist showed that when capsaicin, the main heat-giving compound found in chillies, was placed in a Petri dish with prostate cancer cells, it slowed cell proliferation and even caused them to undergo apoptosis (cell death) when the concentration was increased.
A seven-year study published by the British Medical Journal, supports many of these claims that frequent consumption of chillies can have a beneficial effect on a person’s health and may even help to lower the risk of long-term mortality. In a relatively large study involving hundreds of thousands of participants, four per cent of whom died over the study period, it was found that the fourteen per cent of the group that regularly consumed spicy food had a reduced risk of mortality.
However this study has come under scrutiny, as there are other factors that could not have been entirely controlled for the seven-year duration that may have had an impact on the physiological mechanisms of the study participants, thus affecting the results. Therefore, the claim that the consumption of spicy foods is ‘inversely associated with total and certain cause specific mortality’ needs to be investigated further.
However, there is little doubt that chillies do have health benefits and their regular consumption can have a beneficial effect on a variety of human body disorders.