Meghan Markle 'hasn't seen her father after stroke' says expert
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The majority of strokes occur when a clot forms inside the artery. This is sometimes because cholesterol-filled plaque has broken open. The consequences of this can potentially be fatal, so the brain injury must be treated swiftly. According to various bodies of research, the addition of chilli peppers to the diet may promote better health outcomes after a stroke.
Capsaicin – one of the key ingredients found in peppers – acts as a chemical compound that binds to pain receptors on the tongue and through the digestive tract.
The ingredients are responsible for giving chillies their fiery kick, by tricking the brain into perceiving heat.
Janna Metalonis, a dietician at University hospitals said: “Capsaicin does not actually burn you.
“Instead it tricks our brain into thinking a temperature change has occurred, resulting in the sensation of heat and pain.”
According to the dietary expert, previous research has shown that consumption of spicy food six times a week can reduce the risk of premature death. Research suggests this is due to its role in reducing the risk of several diseases, such as stroke.
In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that those who ate chills more than four times a week were 44 percent likely to die from ischaemic heart disease.
The chilli pepper-eaters were also 61 percent less likely to have died of cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes.
Due to the methodological structure of the study, however, the results are unable to determine whether chilli peppers prevent heart disease and stroke.
There is the possibility that other differences between both groups could be contributing to better health outcomes, however.
Previous work has shown that phytochemical capsaicin has the potential to promote vascular and metabolic health.
Rodent studies have demonstrated the favourable effects of a capsaicin-rich diet on atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and stroke risk.
“Clinically, ingestion of capsaicin has been shown to boost metallic rate modestly,” explained the authors of a report in Open health.
They continued: “Topical application of capsaicin via patch was found to increase exercise time to the ischemic threshold in patients with angina.”
It has been shown that capsaicin may reduce the amount of damage of stroke by inducing mild hypothermia.
In earlier research, findings suggested that using capsaicin to induce hypothermia in stroke patients, or individuals with spinal and brain injury, could reduce the immediate damage to the brain and help the organ recover faster.
The researchers came to the findings after injecting the compound subcutaneously around 2.5 hours after the incidence of stroke in a mouse model.
After a 24-hour period, they found that the infarct volume was decreased and neuro-function recovery was improved compared to the controls.
While there is evidence that capsaicin is a healthful plant chemical, overconsumption of chilli peppers is ill-advised as this can cause undesirable side effects.
This may include swelling, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, heartburn from acid reflux and headaches.
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