SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In the April edition of the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter, an article titled “Some Like It Hot” looks at some of the uses of chili peppers in cooking and for medicinal purposes as well.

KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David said that capsaicin, the hot element in peppers, has been used for centuries as a medication or even as a salve for muscle joint pain. In fact, in lab and animal studies, peppers have been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and blood-pressure-lowering properties.

KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David:

David said that peppers don’t have some sort of “magical property” and can’t prevent cancer, diabetes, hypertension or other diseases. But in small human studies, they have been shown to decrease resting heart rate, lower insulin levels, alter immune function and have modest beneficial effects on cholesterol and blood sugar.

Fresh chili peppers are also an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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