A new study by French scientists shows that there’s a link between a male’s preference for spicy food and his levels of testosterone – the hormone linked to typically “manly” traits, such as aggression, high sex drive and risk-taking.
Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form.
Researchers in Korea recently published evidence that suggests the mechanisms behind why capsaicin may aid weight loss.
Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can also curb appetite, especially for those who don’t normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University.
The component that gives jalapeno peppers their heat may also kill prostate cancer cells.
Scientists have also reported that chili peppers are a heart-healthy food with potential to protect against the No. 1 cause of death in the developed world.
Hot and Spicy Preference Correlated With Higher Testosterone
The researchers from the University of Grenoble gave 114 men aged between 18 and 44 a plain bowl of mashed potato, and told them to season it with as much hot sauce and salt as they liked.
After they’d eaten, the scientists measured how hot and salty their meal had been and took saliva samples. They found that the men who’d doused their food in hot sauce had higher testosterone levels then their peers who’d gone for milder heat.
Salt preference, however, didn’t seem to have any link to testosterone levels. The results have been published in an article appropriately titled “Some Like it Hot” in the journal Physiology and Behaviour.
“A wide range of factors, including genetic, physiological, psychological and social forces, influence the liking and consumption of capsaicin-containing food,” the authors write.
According to study co-author Laurent Begue, regular spicy-food consumption “contributes to increasing testosterone levels” but the mechanism is still not known, the Telegraph reported. “These results are in line with a lot of research showing a link between testosterone and financial, sexual and behavioural risk-taking,”
Low testosterone levels are associated with lethargy or depressive mood.