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Kicking up the spice may help your heart

(Men’s Health) Eating spicy foods may protect your heart against disease, according to new research… Scientists … studied the effects of capsaicinoids, a compound that gives chili peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne peppers their kick, on hamsters.
Researchers fed the hamsters high-cholesterol diets, giving one group spicy foods, and the other capsaicinoid-free meals. The hamsters that munched on spicy foods had lower levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol compared to their capsaicinoid-free counterparts. The spicy compound also blocked the action of the gene responsible for causing arteries to contract. That means the muscles were more relaxed and blood could flow more easily to the heart in the hamsters that were fed capsaicinoids…
Previous research has found capsaicinoids may help treat pain associated with arthritis and psoriasis, too…
Researchers still need to conduct more studies to find out if these heart-healthy benefits translate to humans as well. Plus, too much spice can cause tissue inflammation and cause your stomach to excrete excess digestive acid.
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