Study looks at the potential of red peppers as a natural anti-inflammatory agent

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(Natural News) Red peppers have a distinct flavor that adds a spicy kick to foods. However, red peppers are not only limited to culinary use, but they can also be used in medicine. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found potential in red peppers, particularly the Capsicum baccatum species, as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. In the study, researchers at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) and Catholic University Dom Bosco in Brazil found that red peppers contain bioactive compounds that may be used to fight inflammation and treat inflammatory-related diseases.

For the study, the researchers assessed the anti-inflammatory effects of red pepper extracts using both laboratory testing and clinical trials. They used dichloromethane, butanol, and residual aqueous red pepper extracts for the study.

The results of the study revealed that all red pepper extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory activity. The red pepper extracts also effectively inhibited the neutrophil migration and paw edema in mice. Moreover, the pretreatment with red pepper extracts significantly decreased the levels of myeloperoxidase in the paw tissues of mice. The red pepper extracts also inhibited the nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production. The researchers believe that these anti-inflammatory effects are, in part, due to bioactive compounds other than capsaicin.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that red pepper might be used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammatory-related diseases.

In addition to red peppers, there are other potent anti-inflammatory herbs available. These include cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis), garlic, ginger, guggul (Commiphora wightii), and tropical rose mallow (Hibiscus vitifolius)


Red peppers and its other health benefits

Red peppers, also known as chili peppers, is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum. Different species of red peppers are grown in different parts of the world, including the Americas, the Philippines, India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Mexico. Aside from cooking, red peppers are also used for health purposes. Here are some of the health benefits of red peppers:

  • Red peppers are good for the brain: Red peppers are rich in iron, which enhances hemoglobin production and improves blood flow. Adequate amounts of oxygen and iron in the brain result in increased cognitive functioning and a decreased risk of cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Red peppers are good for the eyes: Eating red peppers are good for the eyes because they contain vitamin A, which is known for improving eyesight and preventing night blindness and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Red peppers are rich in B vitamins: Red peppers are loaded with the B-vitamin complex elements, such as riboflavin, niacin, and folate. These B vitamins are beneficial to the body. Niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, while folate helps in the production of healthy red blood cells and prevents anemia.
  • Red peppers help in red blood cell formation: Red peppers contain iron and copper — both of which are important for making new blood cells. Iron deficiency can result in anemia, fatigue, and muscular weakness.
  • Red peppers help lower high blood pressure: One tablespoon of red pepper contains 145 milligrams (mg) of potassium and only 1.6 mg of sodium. This combination with folate also helps lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels, at the same time maintaining proper blood flow.
  • Red peppers keep the skin and hair healthy: The vitamin C content of red peppers also contribute to keeping the hair and skin healthy. Vitamin C helps produce and maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin.

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