Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hot pepper compound could help hearts

Hot pepper compound could help hearts

SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2012 — The food that inspires wariness is on course for inspiring even more wonder from a medical standpoint as scientists today reported the latest evidence that chili peppers are a heart-healthy food with potential to protect against the No. 1 cause of death in the developed world. The rephttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifort was part of the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, being held here this week.

The study focused on capsaicin and its fiery-hot relatives, a piquant family of substances termed "capsaicinoids." The stuff that gives cayennes, jalapenos, habaneros and other chili peppers their heat, capsaicin already has an established role in medicine in rub-on-the-skin creams to treat arthritis and certain forms of pain. Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form.

"Our research has reinforced and expanded knowledge about how these substances in chilies work in improving heart health," said Zhen-Yu Chen, Ph.D., who presented the study. "We now have a clearer and more detailed portrait of their innermost effects on genes and other mechanisms that influence cholesterol and the health of blood vessels. It is among the first research to provide that information."

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