Capsaicin - Heart Disease Prevention & Much More


Cayenne pepper has been used for medicinal purposes from a long time. Although, it is hot and intolerable in small amount, cayenne is one of the important spices and a perfect blend of minerals, vitamins and certain phytonutrients. It has found a great place in ancient and modern medicine for preventing diseases and promoting good health.

The main ingredient found in Cayenne pepper is called capsaicin, which is responsible for producing the hot effect.  This ingredient is responsible for producing pain relief, anti-inflammatory and other medicinal effects. Some important health benefits of cayenne pepper are discussed here:

Heart Diseases
Research done by the scientists at the University of Tasmania in Australia found that when men and women were given a diet with or without cayenne pepper for four weeks that those in the cayenne pepper group had significantly lower LDL oxidation compared with those without cayenne pepper. This study was published in the August 2006 issue of the “British Journal of Nutrition.

In research reported in the August 2010 issue of “Cell Metabolism,” scientists at the Third Military Medical University in China found that dietary capsaicin activates TRPV1, which in turn stimulates the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada discovered that capsaicin was effective in inhibiting platelet aggregation, according to research published in the September 1991 issue of the “European Journal of Pharmacology.

Skin Problems
Capsaicin is responsible for reducing itching of the skin as it binds to pain receptors in the skin and prevents them from responding to the pain signals of the nervous system. Researchers at the Burn Institute in Beijing applied capsaicin cream to patients suffering from scars from burns. The patients reported good relief of itching.

Pain Relief
John M. McPartland, a physician in New Zealand, found that capsaicin cream give quick relief from the pain of abdominal wall scars in 20 patients he had treated. McPartland reported that the cream gave permanent pain relief as it was completely absorbed.

Aneurysm
An aneurysm is a disorder of the blood vessels in which blood vessels widen in weakened areas and increase the risk of bursting. The capsaicin ingredient present in cayenne pepper helps to reduce one of the factors that can increase your risk of aneurysms, although capsaicin is not a proven preventative or curative medicine for this disorder.

Gastrointestinal Disorders
Cayenne is useful for the treatment of gastrointestinal problems. In a 2006 issue, Critical Reviews in Food, Science and Nutrition printed a review noting that capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps stimulate receptors in the stomach that inhibited excessive excretion of gastric acid. This evidence can be used for the treatment of gastric ulcers. A March 1995 issue of Esophageal, Gastric and Duodenal Disorders performed a study on humans finding that cayenne pepper can help relieve stomach irritation caused by overconsumption of aspirin. In a recent letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, three Italian doctors describe how they were able to reduce patients' reported dyspepsia symptoms by more than half - by prescribing red pepper powder.

Cough Remedy
In Ayurvedic system of medicine, cayenne pepper has been used as a popular cough remedy. Capsaicin helps to relieve pain and reduces inflammation of the throat. Cayenne pepper is also a good source of vitamin C that helps to prevent recurrent respiratory infections.

Osteoporosis

Regular eating of cayenne pepper in the diet helps in the treatment of osteoporosis. It is a condition of the bones in which bones become weak and prone to fractures. It generally occurs in women after menopause due to loss of calcium from the bones. Cayenne pepper is a good source of providing natural calcium and it prevents osteoporosis.