Capsicum

Capsicum

All chilli peppers and bell peppers belong to the genus Capsicum. Capiscum is used in traditional medicine all over the world, and early research suggests it may be useful in Western medicine as well.

Capsaicin, which gives chilli peppers their characteristic hot taste, is the main active ingredient in many kinds of chilli peppers. Capsaicin and other compounds made from capsicum have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Studies show that capsaicin, which is found in capsicum, may help reduce pain and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and cancer. Research also suggests that it may lower the risk of dying and fight bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

Read on to learn more about the nutrients in Capsicum and how it can help your health.

What is a pepper?

Capsicum is a genus of plants in the botanical family Soanaceae. It includes all chilli peppers and bell peppers, from sweet ones to ones that are very spicy. Black pepper is made by a different group of plants.

Capsicum is a name that comes from the Greek word kapto, which means to bite. This is a reference to how most chilies make your mouth feel hot and burn. Capsicum comes from the Latin word capsa, which means “box.” This comes from the fruit’s square shape.

There are many species in the Capsicum genus, but the most common one is the red pepper, which is in a group of peppers called Capsicum annuum. Peppers in this group range in how hot they are, but bell peppers are not one of them.

Here are some examples of chilli peppers in this group:

Capiscum chinese is the name for a second group of peppers. Among these are:

  • habanero
  • datil

The Scotch bonnet

Capiscum frutencens, the third group, is where tabasco peppers live.

Information about food

Chili peppers are a great source of plant chemicals called phytochemicals. Many phytochemicals fight inflammation and free radicals.

Researchers don’t think of phytochemicals as essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, but the compounds may help protect against cancer and heart disease.

Capsaicinoids, such as capsaicin, which is the main active ingredient, are one type of phytochemical found in chilli peppers. It makes the smell and taste that are common to many plants in the same genus. Other plant chemicals found in capsicum are:

anthocyanins
flavonoids phenolic acids

carotenoids like lutein, lycopene, and zeazanthin are found in plants.

Capsicum also has the following nutrients:

vitamins, like vitamin Bs and vitamin C, which is found in red peppers in high amounts.
Dried chilli peppers have a lot of vitamin E.
Iron, calcium, and other minerals, such as fibre
Copper, manganese, and molybdenum are used to make amino acids like tryptophan, phenylalanine, and lysine.

Health benefits

Capsicum is used as medicine in many different cultures. Studies show that it may also help prevent and treat many diseases. Here are some of the things they found:

The Metabolic Syndrome

In 2018, researchers looked at studies to see what effect capsaicin had on metabolic syndrome. In this case, a person has several things that put them at risk for heart disease, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and being overweight.

Both animals and people were studied as part of the research. This is what it found:

Diabetes:

Studies suggest that capsaicin works against diabetes in more than one way. One of these is lowering insulin resistance, which makes it easier for glucose in the bloodstream to get into cells. Capsaicin can also help keep people from getting too fat, which is a big risk factor for diabetes.

Cholesterol:

Several studies show that capsaicin can lower “bad cholesterol,” or total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins. They also say that it can raise “good cholesterol,” or high-density lipoproteins.

Blood pressure too high:

Studies show that capsaicin lowers high blood pressure in a number of ways. These include letting out substances that make blood vessels bigger, stopping an enzyme that makes blood vessels smaller, and making people urinate more, which helps lower blood pressure by getting rid of extra fluid.

Obesity:

Several studies show that capsaicin helps people lose weight by making them feel fuller and preventing fat cells from forming or getting bigger.

The study’s authors came to the conclusion that Capsicum’s benefits for metabolic syndrome could lower the chance of dying from heart disease. Still, more research is needed to prove that it works for people.

Here, you can find out more about metabolic syndrome.

Pain

A 2020 review Trusted Source looked at the research on how capsaicin, which can be put on the skin or injected, relieves pain. When something is in a topical form, it is put on the skin. The writers wrote:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to a topical medicine that contains capsaicin to treat herpes nerve pain.

European agencies that watch over drugs have given the compound the green light to treat other nerve pain conditions.
Studies about using capsaicin to treat Morton’s neuroma look good. This is a painful problem with the foot.

For arthritis, the drug could also be given as an injection into a joint.

A problem with using capsaicin topically or by injection is that it burns right away and keeps burning for minutes to hours. The authors said that this is balanced out by the fact that a single treatment can ease pain for months.

Cancer

A study for 2020

Research on the effects of capsaicin on cancer was looked at by Trusted Source. Cell cultures with high concentrations of the compound were used in most of the studies.

Overall, the results showed that capsaicin is anti-angiogenic, which means it helps stop the growth of blood vessels that cancer needs to grow.

The authors came to the conclusion that combining capsaicin with chemotherapy helps people with cancer in two ways. It helps relieve pain and makes the drugs work better against cancer. More research needs to be done to find out exactly what effects capsaicin has on cancer.

Mortality

2017 research

Trusted Source looked into how eating hot red chilli peppers affects your chances of dying. The authors used information from more than 16,000 people who took part in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey.

Analysis of the data showed that people who ate the peppers had a much lower chance of dying. Because the research was based on observations, the results suggested, but did not prove, that eating chilli peppers may lower the risk of dying.

Infections that are immune to antibiotics

The rise of bacterial infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics is a problem for global health right now. In these infections, the bacteria change so that antibiotics can’t kill them.

A 2015 study

Trusted Source looked at how well capsaicin worked against bacteria that cause infections but were immune to the antibiotic erythromycin. The results showed that the compound can kill these strains of bacteria that have become resistant.

This was a study done in test tubes. Because the results were good, the authors called for more research on both animals and people.

Summary

All peppers belong to the same genus, which is called Capsicum. This includes sweet bell peppers and hot peppers like cayenne and jalapeo.

Capsicum has several phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, but capsaicin is the main one that gives chilli peppers their spiciness.

The FDA has approved a pain reliever that goes on the skin and has capsaicin in it. More research is needed to find out if the compound has any other possible benefits, but early studies show that it may help prevent and treat a number of conditions.

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