Everyday food item linked to dementia and cognitive decline

New research shows a spicy diet could be linked to dementia.

Food ingredient linked to dementia

Think twice before adding that extra kick of chili sauce or chopped jalapeno to your meal. New research involving the University of South Australia shows a spicy diet could be linked to dementia.

15-year study of 4582 Chinese adults aged over 55 found evidence of faster cognitive decline in those who consistently ate more than 50 grams of chili a day. Memory decline was even more significant if the chili lovers were slim.

The study, led by Dr Zumin Shi from Qatar University, showed that those who consumed in excess of 50 grams of chili a day had almost double the risk of memory decline and poor cognition. 

“Chili consumption was found to be beneficial for body weight and blood pressure in our previous studies. However, in this study, we found adverse effects on cognition among older adults,” Dr Zumin said. 


University of South Australia epidemiologist Dr Ming Li, one of five researchers involved in the study, says chili intake included both fresh and dried chili peppers but not sweet capsicum or black pepper. 

“Chili is one of the most commonly used spices in the world and particularly popular in Asia compared to European countries,” Dr Li says. “In certain regions of China, such as Sichuan and Hunan, almost one in three adults consume spicy food every day.” 

Capsaicin is the active component in chili that reportedly speeds up metabolism, fat loss and inhibits vascular disorders, but this is the first longitudinal study to investigate the association between chili intake and cognitive function. 

Those who ate a lot of chili had a lower body mass index (BMI) and were more physically active compared to non-consumers.

Researchers say people of normal body weight may be more sensitive to chili intake than overweight people, hence the impact on memory and weight. Education levels may also play a role in cognitive decline and this link requires further research.

Do you eat a lot of spicy food? How much chili would you consume per day? Does this study make you want to reconsider your diet?

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    COMMENTS

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    Mindy
    24th Jul 2019
    10:54am
    I try and avoid eating Indian and Mexican food but I forget that I shouldn't.
    jackie
    24th Jul 2019
    2:21pm
    Mindy, enjoy eating whatever you want. These so-called experts are probably much young than you.
    Tukkaman
    24th Jul 2019
    11:02am
    one fart and its all over at my age
    Farside
    24th Jul 2019
    9:11pm
    exactly, Jack Nicholson (The Bucket List) said one of the three things you have to remember when you get older ... never trust a fart
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    The only good thing to come out of SA is the road to Perth. What a load of absolute rubbish
    TREBOR
    24th Jul 2019
    12:14pm
    Gotta keep SA relevant in some way - bodies in a barrel.. stuff like that - the public soon becomes jaded with the endless insanities coming out of the non-convict settlement states over 'there'...

    As far I can gather, my German great-greats landed in Adelaide first - then moved on the Queensland... apparently couldn't stand the posturing of the non-convicts over there... think about it - non-convicts would only have come there for a reason......... whereas convict stock had no reason to ever set foot in the place...
    Tzuki
    28th Jul 2019
    4:42pm
    As an Adelaide person it makes me squirm to think that there are people like Trebor and miker who are so negative, critical and arrogant (and Wrong). I read all your "contributions". My first descendant who came here was the first doctor in SA, and came from Denmark. The other one was a teacher from France. They stayed in SA and prospered.
    So don't knock us. You are just showing your ignorance and very prejudice even for your own countrymen. Were you actually descendents of convicts or emigrants? No, don't bother answering. I don't really care. I just don't like prejudice. Stick to the subject which was Chili and dementure.
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    The only good thing to come out of SA is the road to Perth. What a load of absolute rubbish
    CountryCatkin
    24th Jul 2019
    12:10pm
    Another world expert speaks, so we have just been informed.
    Thanks for airing your superior knowledge on research and travel.
    There is room for moderation in all things.
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    1:55pm
    Just good old common sense CC
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    1:55pm
    Just good old common sense CC
    Poppysmum
    24th Jul 2019
    7:31pm
    Must be true, you've said it twice, Miker…….or have you been at the chili?
    CountryCatkin
    24th Jul 2019
    8:55pm
    Trebor - you are such a superior pain. Again, so full of knowledge like so many of your mates. I bet South Aussies are glad you don’t live there.
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    11:12pm
    how did I get on this website, who are all of these strange people
    miker
    24th Jul 2019
    11:12pm
    how did I get on this website, who are all of these strange people
    TREBOR
    24th Jul 2019
    12:10pm
    Aaargh - lack of Guinness cases on special is enough to make any sane man demented....

    Swap your spicy meals for a spicy women or ten, I always say .... (aaargh)...
    Joan
    24th Jul 2019
    12:39pm
    I disagree with this story, my mum never ate anything spicy and she had dementia.
    jackie
    24th Jul 2019
    2:20pm
    Joan, she probably cooked with aluminum. They used to say that was the cause. All those aluminum woks did it.
    KB
    24th Jul 2019
    2:22pm
    Joan My father had dementia and did not eat spicy food. Maybe they studied a particular group of people who eat spicy food. I avoid spicy food.
    KB
    24th Jul 2019
    2:22pm
    Joan My father had dementia and did not eat spicy food. Maybe they studied a particular group of people who eat spicy food. I avoid spicy food.
    Intellego
    24th Jul 2019
    3:51pm
    *Eyes roll*

    There are other causes of dementia besides chili, y'know.
    KSS
    24th Jul 2019
    12:50pm
    So are they going to repeat the study in India and other countries in the subcontinent. What is the dementia prevalence there?
    jackie
    24th Jul 2019
    2:18pm
    KSS, the larger the population, the more with dementia.
    Intellego
    24th Jul 2019
    3:52pm
    Jackie, the relevant metric is PERCENTAGE, not absolute numbers.

    24th Jul 2019
    12:55pm
    i take little notice of all these studies now...one day curcumin could be the cure for alzheimers..one day it is something else...they just dont know
    Julian
    24th Jul 2019
    1:04pm
    Interesting article and by the usual token what's good for you can also have an opposite effect.

    Most notable is oxygen; vital for life but also the cause of oxidative stress and ageing amongst other adverse reactions.
    jackie
    24th Jul 2019
    2:17pm
    Julian, you could be onto something. The air in China is heavily polluted. It would be damaging other body parts not just the lungs.
    Anonymous
    29th Jul 2019
    6:39pm
    one reason I would never go to China now...also Singapore can be bad as well...well remember being there and my eyes were very bloodshot one day, just from walking around the streets. was told it was because Indonesia was burning off and it was impacting on Singapore.
    OnlyDaughter
    24th Jul 2019
    1:37pm
    These studies can be used to provide “proof” about almost anything. Scientists are employees of either a university or a research institute, all of which need money via funding to continue operating. Scientists come up with a potentially interesting research project, hopefully one that will attract media attention and stir up public interest when they apply for funding. Is is why you get the “healthy coffee research projectlfollowed bye the”life saving coffee project” and the “spicy foods are healthy project” and “spicy foods cause dementia project”. Unless the project is world acclaimed or appears in Lancet, don’t take these research projects too seriously. A little bit of what you like, does you no harm....or, all things in moderation.
    Watto
    24th Jul 2019
    1:45pm
    Another university another study what a load of CRAP
    person
    24th Jul 2019
    1:46pm
    HaHA! Love your comment Miker..... So spice isn't good, sugar isn't good, fat isn't good & diets apparently aren't good either!! :)
    Polly Esther
    24th Jul 2019
    2:14pm
    Proof that they are not out wandering the streets I guess, but hey they may be dabbling in
    mind-bending drugs. Codswallop is and doesn't need to be proven.
    jackie
    24th Jul 2019
    2:15pm
    I think that's a whole lot of rubbish even though I am not a chilly and curry fan. Those demented Chinese are probably well over 100 or it would have to be the MSG that's the cause.

    Asians love to put MSG on everything.
    Magic Touch
    28th Jul 2019
    11:02am
    Most asian cook with add in MSG or ales they don,t know how to cook any food....
    maelcolium
    24th Jul 2019
    2:39pm
    Who in the hell eats 50 grams of chilli on a daily basis! Seriously?
    GeorgeG
    24th Jul 2019
    3:16pm
    Just to stick to the old adage - anything in moderation. Unless you're a fan of Nigella Lawson, who says "Anything in moderation, except moderation"!?
    Intellego
    24th Jul 2019
    3:49pm
    Is there a higher prevalence of dementia in countries where chili is a staple diet? If not, then the medical conclusion is probably mistaken.
    Triss
    24th Jul 2019
    4:27pm
    The thing that annoys me with this kind of study is that it starts off with a hypothesis and then the study group sets out to make it fact. They don’t seem to go into genetics, whether they are on long time medications, depression, acute stress. The only thing you can be sure of is that, in a year or two, someone else will come along and debunk the findings for something else altogether.
    musicveg
    24th Jul 2019
    5:26pm
    Hold the chilli sauce! 50 gms is a hell of a lot of chilli. I think a little is okay, as long as you are getting enough fruit and veggies in your diet you will get the nutrients and fiber you need. One study does not mean much especially when they are talking about a big consumption of chillies.
    Pushkin2
    24th Jul 2019
    6:22pm
    50 gms is more than most people would eat. That's about 1/3 of a bottle of chilli sauce. Those who regularly eat more than this are likely to have damaged taste buds which could indicate symptoms of more serious problems. Moderation and variety is the way to go.
    Pushkin2
    24th Jul 2019
    6:22pm
    50 gms is more than most people would eat. That's about 1/3 of a bottle of chilli sauce. Those who regularly eat more than this are likely to have damaged taste buds which could indicate symptoms of more serious problems. Moderation and variety is the way to go.
    Farside
    25th Jul 2019
    12:20am
    50g is not really the issue. The real issue is the quantity of capsaicin, which varies greatly depending on the variety of chilli and its maturity. But 50g is not such as big ask for 2-3 long red chillis, which are mild, but I agree 50g of the hot suckers is unlikely.
    Wendy HK
    27th Jul 2019
    9:52pm
    Well I'm screwed! I can't cook without chilli!
    Also the notion that chilli increases the metabolism and makes you thin is BS! I should be the thinnest person on the planet! And I'm not even close to thin!
    Tzuki
    28th Jul 2019
    4:13pm
    As an Adelaide person it makes me squirm to think that there are people like Trebor and miker who are so negative, critical and arrogant (and Wrong). I read all your "contributions". My first descendant who came here was the first doctor in SA, and came from Denmark. The other one was a teacher from France. They stayed in SA and prospered.
    So don't knock us. You are just showing your ignorance and very prejudice even for your own countrymen. Were you actually descendents of convicts or emigrants? No, don't bother answering. I don't really care. I just don't like prejudice. Stick to the subject which was Chili and dementure.
    miker
    30th Jul 2019
    6:03pm
    Nah, rather stick it to South Aussies who are living proof that Tasmanians can swim.

    Both of whom who been suckling off WA GST for far to long
    gerry
    29th Jul 2019
    2:49pm
    the convicts came with the first fleet and the 10 pound Poms were sent out to educate them
    Didn't do a very good job,was watching the AFl and couldn't believe the crowds of visiting fans, Allt hat travel ,must be a great drain on Centrelink
    gerry
    29th Jul 2019
    2:49pm
    the convicts came with the first fleet and the 10 pound Poms were sent out to educate them
    Didn't do a very good job,was watching the AFl and couldn't believe the crowds of visiting fans, Allt hat travel ,must be a great drain on Centrelink
    ozirules
    30th Jul 2019
    4:10pm
    first butter was good, then bad so replace it with margarine then guess what.....whatever next will be bad for us......maybe toilet roll paper causes piles or the regular use of paper clips causes leprosy....if you give up all the good things in life there's no guarantee you'll live longer but sure as hell it will seem like it.
    CountryCatkin
    22nd Aug 2019
    12:40pm
    A decent person from any state wouldn’t give any credence to pathetic comments like those coming from Miker and friends. You show your nasty, crass ignorance in a glaring light.
    CountryCatkin
    22nd Aug 2019
    12:40pm
    A decent person from any state wouldn’t give any credence to pathetic comments like those coming from Miker and friends. You show your nasty, crass ignorance in a glaring light.
    CountryCatkin
    22nd Aug 2019
    12:40pm
    A decent person from any state wouldn’t give any credence to pathetic comments like those coming from Miker and friends. You show your nasty, crass ignorance in a glaring light.


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