Chili Peppers Could Help Heart Attack Victims
Capsaicin found to reduce cell damage in mice
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 9:22 AM CDT
The chemical that makes chili peppers hot could also help during a heart attack.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers so spicy, could turn out to be the newest—and oddest—heart drug, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scientists applied the chemical to the abdominal skin of mice then induced heart attacks; their hearts suffered 85% less cell damage than the mice treated with a placebo, possibly because capsaicin activates nerves linked to the spinal cord, which then trigger survival-oriented nerves in the heart muscle.