Study Looks at Whether Eating Spicy Foods Can Lead to a Longer Life

Hot sauce, chili peppers and curry may not only give heat seekers a thrill during mealtime, but they could be the key to living longer. Spectrum News’ Bree Driscoll explains how a new study is making the link.

Jeff Florentino stopped by Brick Lane Curry House for a lunch that would warm him up on a cold day.

"Definitely not daring but I would say a little bit of spice where you can feel it hits the senses,” Florentino says.

Restaurant owner Satinder Sharma says many stop into his shop seeking the spice his staff uses to perfect their dishes.

"We as a curry house, we became popular for the spiciest curry in the world,” Sharma says.

The curry may not only be tickling the taste bud, but it may also come with some health benefits.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal claims that eating spicy food could help you live longer.

It used data from 500 thousand people in China and found those who consume spicy food six times a week reduced their mortality by 14 percent. 

Those who ate it twice a week reduced their mortality by 10 percent. 

While the study claims to have found a correlation, it did not lay out what specifically in spicy food causes the link.

Gastroenterologist Dr. Prem Chattoo says the study shows promise but she believes the matter needs to be examined further.

"I think there is some evidence and there is some benefit to it but I wouldn’t say that it is the fountain of youth pill,” Chattoo says.

Dr. Chattoo says while this study may not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that spicy food helps you live longer there are certain medical benefits that are immediately apparent.

"I think spicy food as a whole is beneficial to people increasing metabolism, anti-inflammatory, helps with your cardiovascular,” Chattoo says.

That’s adding a whole new meaning to the spice of life.

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