Science 3 min read

New Study Found A Link Between Chili Intake and Dementia

Are you a Chili lover? Well, you may want to slow down your spicy food intake after a new study revealed a link between Chili and dementia.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

People love spicy food. Whether it’s for the color, flavor, or food preservation, Chili pepper has always served different purposes.

Health experts in medieval times even used it for medicinal purposes. Based on the theories of Hippocrates and Galen, it was thought to restore the humoral imbalances said to cause illnesses.

Now, we just add spice to our food for that extra kick.

According to Statista, 122.03 million people in the United States consumed Chili in 2018, and the number is expected to rise to 123.78 million by 2020.

However, a recent study suggests that adding extra chili sauce or chopped jalapeño to your meal may be causing more harm than good. According to the researchers at the University of South Australia, spicy food diet could lead to dementia in older adults.

How Chili Intake Could Lead to Dementia

Previous studies suggested that Chili is beneficial for the body. Not only does it help with weight loss, but it also helps reduce blood pressure too.

That’s because it contains an active component called Capsaicin, which reportedly increases metabolism and fat loss. This active component is also known to inhibit vascular disorders such as stroke and pulmonary embolism, among others.

However, the new study suggests that it could also hurt the cognition of older adults.

The researcher conducted a 15-year study of almost 5,000 Chinese adults.

Over 55 of the participants, who consumed more than 50 grams of Chili a day, showed evidence of faster cognitive decline. The team noted a more significant reduction in the cognition of slim people who love Chili.

Read More: Vascular Risk Research Shows Dementia may be Preventable

In other words, people who consume more than 50 grams of Chili per day are twice more likely to develop memory decline and poor cognition than those who don’t. According to the researchers, the chili intake includes fresh and dried chili peppers, but not black or sweet capsicum.

Lead author of the study, and researcher at Qatar University, Dr. Zumin Shi said:

“Chili is one of the most commonly used spices in the world and particularly popular in Asia compared to European countries. In certain regions of China, such as Sichuan and Hunan, almost one in three adults consume spicy food every day.”

You may be wondering how a dash of Chili a day could eat the memory away.

Well, the study suggests that chili consumers generally had lower income and body mass index (BMI). But, they were also more physically active when compared with non-consumers.

According to the researchers, people with average body weight may be more sensitive to the spice than overweight people. As a result, it not only affects their weight but the memory too.

Also, the participant’s level of education may play an essential role. However, further research is necessary to understand this link.

Read More: Researchers Use Electric Tongue To Accurately Evaluate Food Spiciness

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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