Gastronomically speaking, adding a touch of spice to your daily meal has well-established advantages. But could it be that those who like it hot are also improving their health?
Researchers in China are reporting findings from an extensive study which found that those who regularly consume spicy food had a slightly lower mortality risk over seven years of follow-up, than those who ate them less than once a week.
Out of 487,375 participants, 20,224 died over the average seven year study period.
A similar pattern was seen in mortality risk for particular conditions, including cancer, and heart and respiratory conditions, according to the research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
When the results were adjusted for age and other influential factors, those who had spicy food – usually in the form of chilli peppers, chilli sauce or chilli oil – six or seven times a week, were found to have a 14 per cent lower mortality risk than those who rarely consumed such foods.