Thursday December 12, 2019

All Those Chilli Lovers, Think Twice Before Adding Extra Chillis to your Diet! Spicy Food Links to Dementia

Chili intake included both fresh and dried chili peppers but not sweet capsicum or black pepper

0
//
spicy food, chilli
50 grams of chili a day had almost double the risk of memory decline and poor cognition. Pixabay

Think twice before adding that extra kick of chilli sauce or chopped jalapeno to your meal as researchers have found that a spicy diet could be linked to dementia. According to the research involving 4,582 Chinese adults aged over 55, evidence of faster cognitive decline was found in those who consistently ate more than 50 grams of chili per day. Memory decline was even more significant if the chili lovers were slim.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, 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,” said the lead author of the study, Zumin Shi from Qatar University.

Chili intake included both fresh and dried chili peppers but not sweet capsicum or black pepper. According to the researchers, capsaicin is the active component in chili which 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.

dementia, spicy food, chilli
Researchers have found that a spicy diet could be linked to dementia. Pixabay

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

ALSO READ: Study: Countries with Strong Women’s Rights More Likely to Have Faster Growth, Better Health Outcomes

People of normal body weight may be more sensitive to chili intake than overweight people, hence the impact on memory and weight, said the researchers. “Chili consumption has been linked previously to weight and blood pressure control. Capsaicin is the active ingredient which helps in energy expenditure and fat oxidation

However, a new Chinese study says long term consumption of Chili more than 50 grams per day may have a significant impact on the memory,” Sahil Kohli, Consultant –Neurology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Gurugram, told IANS. “So if you like chilies keep their quantity less than 50 grams per day till the time further studies are conducted to validate the new research,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Research Finds That Drug Can Curb Dementia’s Delusions

About 8 million Americans have dementia, and studies suggest that up to 30% of them develop psychosis.

0
Television actor Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell talks about Drugs
Television actor Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell pose with a placard in front of Downing Street ahead of a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, Britain. VOA

A drug that curbs delusions in Parkinson’s patients did the same for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a study that was stopped early because the benefit seemed clear.

If regulators agree, the drug could become the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis and the first new medicine for Alzheimer’s in nearly two decades. It targets some of the most troubling symptoms that patients and caregivers face — hallucinations that often lead to anxiety, aggression, and physical and verbal abuse.

Results were disclosed Wednesday at a conference in San Diego.

Unmet need for treatment

“This would be a very important advance,” said one independent expert, Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

Although the field is focused on finding a cure for dementia and preventing future cases, “there is a huge unmet need for better treatment” for those who have it now, said Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer’s Association’s chief science officer.

The drug is pimavanserin, a daily pill sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. It was approved for Parkinson’s-related psychosis in 2016 and is thought to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur delusions.

Dementia Drugs
Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Pixabay

About 8 million Americans have dementia, and studies suggest that up to 30% of them develop psychosis.

“It’s terrifying,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cummings of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. “You believe that people might be trying to hurt you. You believe that people are stealing from you. You believe that your spouse is unfaithful to you. Those are the three most common false beliefs.”

How the study worked

He consults for Acadia and helped lead the study, which included about 400 people with dementia and psychosis. All were given a low dose of the drug for three months, and those who seemed to respond or benefit were then split into two groups. Half continued on the drug and the others were given dummy pills for six months or until they had a relapse or worsening of symptoms. Neither the patients nor their doctors knew who was getting what.

Independent monitors stopped the study when they saw that those on dummy pills were more than twice as likely as those on the drug to relapse or worsen — 28% versus nearly 13%.

There were relatively few serious side effects — 5% in the drug group and 4% in the others. Headaches and urinary tract infections were more common among those on the drug. Two deaths occurred, but study leaders said neither was related to the drug.

The drug could become the first treatment for dementia
The drug could become the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis. Pixabay

Carrillo said the study was small, but the drug’s effect seemed large, and it’s not known whether the federal Food and Drug Administration would want more evidence to approve a new use.

Risk of death

Current anti-psychotic medicines have some major drawbacks and are not approved for dementia patients.

“They’re often used off label because we have very few other options,” Fillit said.

ALSO READ: Researchers Associate Social Media Use to Eating Disorder in Adolescents

All carry warnings that they can raise the risk of death in elderly patients, as does Nuplazid.

Cost could be an issue — about $3,000 a month. What patients pay can vary depending on insurance coverage. (VOA)