Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

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Cayenne pepper—just like other types of chili pepper—is claimed by many to be good for the health. It is not only a popular spice, but it is also popular for its medicinal contributions. Do you want to know more about these? Check out these science-backed health benefits.

What are the Benefits of Cayenne Pepper?

  • Boosts metabolism
  • Decreases the feeling of hunger
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Helps in proper digestion
  • Acts as a pain reliever
  • May help improve psoriasis symptoms
  • May reduce cancer risk

Like other peppers, cayenne is loaded with capsaicin, which can boost metabolism. Through diet-induced thermogenesis, the amount of heat that your body produces increases. As a result, metabolism increases and more calories are burned. (1)

One study confirmed this as it found out that the respondents who took breakfast with capsaicin, along with medium-chain triglyceride oil content, would burn up to 51% more calories than those who did not have either of them. (1)

Another interesting health benefit of cayenne is that it may help you feel full for a longer time, thus making you eat less. This is supported by several studies. (1, 2, 3)

One study revealed that this is the effect of capsaicin inhibiting the production of ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone. (1)

Cayenne pepper is also believed to reduce blood pressure. According to animal studies, capsaicin has the capacity to decrease the blood pressure level.

One study involving mice showed that long-term capsaicin consumption through dietary spices aid in lowering blood pressure. Another study done on pigs suggested that capsaicin may lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. (1, 2)

The capsaicin content of cayenne pepper is associated with improved digestive health as well. One study reported that this pepper aid in digestion by improving the stomach’s protection against infections, delivering enzymes to the stomach, and increasing the production of digestive fluid. (1)

A review paper also reported that the capsaicin content of cayenne makes it effective in reducing the risk of acquiring stomach ulcers. (1)

Capsaicin contains pain relief properties as well, making cayenne pepper a potential pain reliever. It has been found out that capsaicin may decrease the amount of the neuropeptide known as substance P, which the body sends to the brain to signal pain. As less substance P is created, the pain signals do not reach the brain, thus reducing the feeling of pain. (1, 2)

Cayenne pepper may be beneficial for psoriasis patients too. As of now, this autoimmune disease does not have a cure. However, studies claimed that capsaicin creams may improve psoriasis symptoms, such as itching, scaling, patchiness, and redness. (1, 2, 3)

Substance P also affects psoriasis. Since capsaicin can inhibit the production of substance P in the body, it also influences how this neuropeptide affects psoriasis symptoms. (1)

Furthermore, cayenne pepper may reduce cancer risk. Capsaicin may interrupt cancer cell growth by attacking different pathways during the process. (1, 2)

Capsaicin is also known to slow down cancer cell development and even kill cancer cells in different kinds of cancer, such as pancreatic, prostate, and skin cancers. (1)

Yes, these health benefits are really promising. However, it is too early to tell if cayenne pepper can be used as an alternative treatment for these health conditions.

What is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper is a kind of chili pepper. It belongs to the family of plants that are closely related to jalapeños and bell peppers. This pepper originated from South and Central America. Later on, it was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus around the 15th century.

This pepper is popularly used as a spice in various regional cuisines. Moreover, it has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes. This is because of its rich nutritional content, including powerful antioxidants that have a lot to contribute to human health.

How Does Cayenne Pepper Work?

Just like other types of peppers, cayenne pepper gets much of its medicinal properties from its active ingredient capsaicin. As stated above, a lot of health benefits are attributed to this component.

How Do I Take Cayenne Pepper?

It is easy to add cayenne pepper to your diet. It is available in different forms, such as spice, whole food, and supplement. You can visit the nearest grocery store nearby to find a wide selection of it.

To consume cayenne, you may add a pinch of it to your favourite dishes, like fries, egg omelet, and marinades. You may also add it to salads, but first, you need to slice the whole pepper.

However, if this would be your first time to eat cayenne pepper, then it would be best if you have a taste test first to find out if you can tolerate its spiciness.

Can I Take It Along with Vitamins or Medicines?

Cayenne pepper supplementation may interact with ACE inhibitors, which are medications for high blood pressure. Some of these drugs may result in a cough—or worsened cough—if taken with cayenne supplements. Some of these medications are ramipril (Altace), captopril (Capoten), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), enalapril (Vasotec), and others. However, research is still needed to find out whether this is a big concern or not.

Those who are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, should consult their doctor first before taking cayenne pepper supplementation. It may increase the risk of bleeding. For this reason, people would be undergoing surgery should stop pepper consumption at least 2 weeks before the surgery.

Is Cayenne Pepper Safe?

Generally, cayenne pepper is safe to eat, especially if taken within a short period and in a small or moderate amount. On the other hand, it is possibly unsafe if consumed in large doses and for a long time.

Minor side effects that have been reported are sweating, upset stomach and irritation, runny nose, and flushing. Serious side effects include kidney or liver damage and heightened blood pressure.

When applied to the skin as lotion or cream, the cayenne extract is likely safe. Anyway, the FDA has approved capsaicin an over-the-counter drug. Some of the possible side effects are itching, burning sensation, and skin irritation. See to it that you do not use cayenne pepper products around the eyes or on sensitive skin.

It is possibly safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to apply cayenne pepper supplements on the skin for a short period of time. However, it is still best if they consult their doctor before taking any supplementation.

GET PROSTATE PLUS™
BEST-SELLING YUUTO® NATURAL SUPPLEMENT
FOR PROSTATE HEALTH*

30 SCIENTIFICALLY-BACKED INGREDIENTS COMBINED IN OPTIMUM DOSE FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT FORMULATED FOR:

  • HEALTHY PROSTATE*
    Formulated with premium natural ingredients to promote prostate health and function.*
  • BLADDER DISCOMFORT*
    Helps reduce bladder discomfort.*
  • URINARY TRACT*
    Helps reduce the consistent urge “to go”.*
    Contains Saw Palmetto, Zinc and Pumpkin Seed.
PROSTATE+ ULTIMATE HEALTH FORMULA