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The main component found in chili peppers has been shown to prevent and reduce heart damage during a heart attack, according to a new study.
The study published in the journal Circulation, finds that applying capsaicin, which is the main component in chili peppers and the active ingredient in some common pain creams, to specific skin areas on mice caused sensory nerves in the skin to trigger signals in the nervous system.
These signals activate cellular “pro-survival” pathways in the heart which protect the muscle, the article further explains.
“If proven effective in humans, this therapy has the potential to reduce injury or death in the event of a coronary blockage, thereby reducing the extent and consequences of heart attack,” says Keith Jones, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati where the study was performed.
Capsaicin, which is used topically to treat pain, produces a hot feeling on the skin. It is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The research further supports the value of chili peppers as a natural health resource.
Chili peppers, which are high in vitamin C, have already been shown to help fight migraine headaches, relieve sinus congestion and aid digestion.
Source: Better Health Research. Dec. 17th.2009