The habanero pepper/scotch bonnet is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world because of its concentration of capsaicin. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, capsaicin can be used to treat several different medical conditions like prostate cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Consuming habanero peppers has been linked to lowering blood pressure because of the presence of capsaicin. In a 2009 study, published in “Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry,” scientists showed that with the addition of capsaicin in the diet, reduced the arterial blood pressure in participants. They concluded that the existence of capsaicin was effective in lowering arterial blood pressure in the hypertensive study subjects. The report also stated that the blood pressure didn’t lower for the people who took capsaicin with normal blood pressure.
Several scientists have performed studies to examined the effect of capsaicin on serum cholesterol levels. A 2013 study, published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” revealed that capsaicin in hot peppers help lower cholesterol levels. Scientists divided hamsters into groups and fed them a high cholesterol diet. Some of the rodents had no capsaicin and some consumed varying amounts. The results showed that capsaicin reduced total bad cholesterol levels at the end of the 6-week study. The level of good cholesterol remained the same. Overall, bad cholesterol levels were reduce no matter what dose of capsaicin the hamsters were given.
Habanero peppers can be effective in the fight against prostate cancer. In a study by the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, growth of prostate cancer cells were slowed with the consumption of capsaicin in mice. The researchers stressed that this was exciting results but more studies have to be performed on humans to confirm.