Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hot Peppers' Capsaicin Helps Hypertensive Rats

Hot Peppers' Capsaicin Helps Hypertensive Rats: "

Here’s a possible blood pressure remedy. But it’s only for those who can stand the heat. It’s capsaicin, the “active ingredient” in peppers like habaneros that should probably be sold by prescription only. While lips burn and eyes water, blood vessels actually relax, thanks to increased production of the signaling molecule nitric oxide. In rodents, anyway.

For seven months, researchers in China fed a steady diet of capsaicin to rats bred to be hypertensive. Long-term consumption of the chemical substantially lowered the rats’ blood pressure. The results appear in the August issue of the journal Cell Metabolism . [Dachun Yang et al., ]