Are Hot Chili Peppers the Fountain of Youth?

The Bionic Eye – Sounds Like Science Fiction, But it is Not!
May 14, 2014
Fasting for Diabetics
Can Something as Simple as Fasting Help Diabetics?
June 16, 2014

Are Hot Chili Peppers the Fountain of Youth?

Hot Chilli Peppers

Hot Chilli Peppers

Hot Chilli Peppers

Hot Chilli Peppers

Maybe, but you would need to eat a lot of them. Yet, on the other hand, there are some interesting possibilities. New

findings from a study on mice seem to show that there is potential for spicy foods to impact the aging process.

In the new study, it was found that mice bred without pain receptors were living longer and without developing life-shortening diseases such as diabetes. Scientists have discovered that chili peppers and other spicy foods contain a certain molecule that mimics this same absence of pain receptors, giving potential for a spicy diet to benefit humans.

Each time a person comes into contact with a painful event, such as stubbing a toe, burning the hand while cooking, etc. a pain receptor in the area sends a signal to the brain, and he feels the pain. The receptor protects him from prolonged harm from the source of the pain, but at the same time it also seems to negatively impact the lifespan. It is known, for instance, that people with chronic pain live shorter lives.

Researchers at UC-Berkeley performed studies on mice targeting the TRPV1 pain receptor found in the skin, joints and nerves. This receptor is also known to be activated by capsaicin, the molecule found in chili peppers and other spicy foods. The study found that mice bred without the TRPV1 pain receptor lived 14% longer than those with the receptor. And even in the natural course of aging, these older mice, without the receptor, had youthful metabolism and much better capacity to regulate insulin, something that tends to decline with age.

Andrew Dillin, one of the lead researchers at UC-Berkeley notes that capsaicin-rich diets have proven to be beneficial in controlling diabetes and other metabolic problems in humans, and feels that the time is ripe now for drug companies to begin targeting their research and production in this direction. Significant ingestion of capsaicin-laden foods can be like being born without the TRPV1 receptor, thus extending life. There is still more research to be done, but for now, this find between pain receptors and increasing lifespan is very encouraging. Also good news for lovers of spicy foods.