In this article, we answer the following question: Can hot sauce kill you? We talk about what happens to your body when you eat too much spicy food and the benefits of hot sauce and spicy food.
Can hot sauce kill you?
Technically yes, hot sauce can kill you! And to blame we have capsaicin, its main component. This substance is the oily molecule responsible for providing that itch, the spiciness that makes the hot sauce. The effect that this substance causes in our body is so interesting that in 1912 Wilbur Scoville invented a sensory scale, which took his name, to measure the degree of intensity of the stimulus of spicy food.
A study from the 1980s showed that 1.3 kg of the powder from very hot chili pepper, such as Bhut Jolokia, also called the ghost pepper, can kill a 70 kg man. The possibility is remote, both for the amount of pepper required and for the defense systems that the body would implement.
Most likely, if you eat too much hot sauce you will have heartburn so intense that it will look like a heart attack, but this is not a concern for spicy lovers! On the other hand, it must be said that doctors say that a reasonable dose of spice in our dishes is very beneficial for our health.
A human is a strange being, so he often mistakes a painful sensation for a pleasant one. Here is the double side of the hot sauce: after consuming a spicy dish, before the pain sensation is triggered, and that bad quarter of an hour of which we spoke before begins, a discharge of endorphins are produced in our brain, which is also known as pleasure molecules: that is, neurotransmitters with a rewarding function.
What happens to your body when you overeat spicy food?
There are several myths around spicy food: that it causes heartburn, that it causes hemorrhoids, that it causes contractions in pregnant women … However, several scientific studies have shown that eating spicy foods such as chili, pepper, or curry, for example, has positive health effects.
Many people like to enjoy the strong flavor of food and have a weakness for spiciness. When we consume spicy food, we have the sensation that our mouth is burning, even that our head is about to explode, so our body’s mechanical reaction is to cool itself through sweat or tears.
So why do so many people like spicy ‘pain’ of spicy? When the body feels such pain, the brain releases endorphins and dopamine, creating a sensation similar to adrenaline. Endorphins are natural opiates, pain relievers that our body sometimes releases in response to the excessive itching of a food.
In other words, our body responds to the explosion of severe pain by releasing adrenaline. In this way, it could be said that overeating spicy food is a way to seek emotion by stimulating our brain.
The health benefits of hot sauce and spicy food
Beyond the “pain” and its corresponding adrenaline, studies claim that eating spicy food is beneficial for health.
Researchers at the Third Military Medical University of Chongqing claim that hot peppers can be beneficial for hypertensive people in China. They have discovered that capsaicin can also promote the relaxation of blood vessels.
This substance is one of the most abundant in these peppers and, according to the results of an investigation in mice published by the journal ‘Cell Metabolism,’ it manages to activate the short potential receptor V1 (TRPV1) by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This molecule soda protects blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction. So eating hot sauce can improve high blood pressure.
On the other hand, studies from the American Chemical Society maintain that capsaicin helps reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in the body by increasing its breakdown rate. The medical team also discovered that capsaicin blocks a gene that narrows the arteries, thereby increasing blood flow in the vessels.
Additionally, the Los Angeles School of Medicine reported in their March 2006 issue of “Cancer Research” study that capsaicin might inhibit prostate cancer cells’ growth. The American Cancer Society suggests that capsaicin may help slow the growth of prostate cancer cells, however, more human studies are needed for stronger conclusions.
The bottom line
In this article, we answered the following question: Can hot sauce kill you? We talked about what happens to your body when you overeat spicy food and the benefits of hot sauce and spicy food.
Among the health benefits mentioned above, spicy food can help you lose weight. It appears to stimulate the metabolism, increase body heat, and accelerate the rate at which the body burns calories. This is why spicy food can help people who want to lose weight.
In addition to the fact that spicy foods can increase caloric expenditure, the reality that most nutritionists do agree on is the satiating power of capsaicin. Hence, when we eat spicily it makes us feel fuller and that sensation allows us to moderate the intake of other more caloric foods.
It is very unlikely that hot sauce will kill you. However, you should consume it with moderation, to prevent any possible health issues.
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