Hot Stuff for Lowering PCOS-Linked High Blood Pressure

Chili peppers might hold the secret to reversing the classic heart disease risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), which is often linked to PCOS.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, not only turns up the heat but also causes blood vessels to relax and lower blood pressure, according to a study in the August issue of Cell Metabolism.
Chinese researchers gave capsaicin to rats with hypertension and noticed that it opened up the animals’ constricted vessels. Capsaicin activates a pathway in the lining of blood vessels called the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), which raises the production of a gas called nitric oxide. The gas, in turn, helps guard blood vessels against heart-damaging inflammation and other cardiovascular problems.
The researchers couldn’t say how much capsaicin or how many chili peppers would be needed on a daily basis to keep blood pressure down and they called for further study.
But it might be a good idea to add chili peppers to your diet.
Women with PCOS and high blood pressure who can’t stomach extremely spicy foods might not be out of luck. A milder, sweet pepper from Japan, which contains a related chemical called capsinoid, also seems to have a comparable impact on hypertension.

Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz! Get your PCOS score and assess your risk.
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