Capsaican (from Hot Peppers) Activates the Sirtuin 6 Gene, Prevents Arterial Calcification, and Protects Against Mitochondrial Damage

  • by Nils Osmar. May 25, 2024
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

Question: What common kitchen spice is a sirtuin gene activator; helps prevent the calcification of arteries; and protects against mitochondrial damage?

Answer: Capsaican, found in hot peppers

Let’s look at the studies:

  • Study 1:Capsaicin Attenuates Arterial Calcification Through Promoting SIRT6-Mediated Deacetylation and Degradation of Hif1α” (See study)

From the study:

In this study, we examined the effect of dietary capsaicin on arterial calcification and explored the underlying mechanism. Using data from a population-based study and high phosphate–induced calcification models, we found that capsaicin promotes Hif1α degradation, inhibits osteogenic transdifferentiation, and thus protects against arterial calcification.

  • Chili intake is associated with reduced risk of coronary arterial calcification.
  • SIRT6 (Sirtuin 6) is increased in response to capsaicin, which then facilitates the deacetylation and degradation of Hif1α.
  • This study delineates a novel mechanism by which capsaicin exerts its anticalcification effect.
  • These data highlight capsaicin/SIRT6/Hif1α as a promising therapeutic target for the management of arterial calcification.

Capsaican also protects against mitochondrial damage

Study 2: “Capsaicin prevents mitochondrial damage, protects cardiomyocytes subjected to anoxia/reoxygenation injury” (See study)

The data showed that pretreatment with Cap decreased LDH release and increased cell viability in H9c2 cells that underwent A/R. Cap pretreatment significantly attenuated generation of reactive oxygen species, inhibited mPTP opening and caspase-3 activation, downregulated Bax, upregulated 14-3-3η and Bcl-2, and ultimately reduced apoptosis in H9c2 cells that underwent A/R. Moreover, 14-3-3ηRNAi adenovirus markedly eliminated the protective effects of Cap in H9c2 cells that underwent A/R. In addition, ABT-737(inhibitor of Bcl-2) significantly eliminated Cap protection. Taken together, the present study suggested that the cardioprotective effect of Cap against A/R injury involves the 14-3-3η pathway and prevention of mitochondrial damage.

Why Sirtuin 6 matters

Activation of the sirtuin 6 gene is associated with reduced frailty and increased longevity in lab animals. See study

What I’m doing:

  • Hot cayenne pepper, which is rich in capsaican, is one of my staples. I like adding it to foods such as scrambled eggs, soup and stew
  • To protect my arteries, I work out a lot, doing HIIT exercise several days a week.
  • To activate the sirtuin 6 gene, I take DoNotAge’s SIRT6 Activator; take Gaia Herbs elderberry, a source of cyanidin; take icariin (found in horny goat weed); and season my food with cayenne pepper.

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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