Capsaicin Lozenges May Ward Off Pneumonia In Seniors 27889Capsaicin Lozenges May Ward Off Pneumonia In Seniors
July 18, 2005
Capsaicin Lozenges May Ward Off Pneumonia In SeniorsSENDAI, Japan--Capsaicin lozenges dissolved in the mouth before meals have shown the potential to prevent aspiration and pneumonia in the elderly, according to a study published in the May issue of Journal of the American Geriatric Society (53, 5:824-8, 2005). Researchers from Tohuku University School of Medicine investigated the theory that capsaicin increases the throat levels of substance P, which promotes the swallowing reflex and can prevent aspiration, a common cause of pneumonia in older patients. They randomly assigned 64 nursing home patients to receive capsaicin lozenges or placebo, and recorded time-to-swallowing at baseline and at four weeks. At baseline, participants average time-to-swallowing was 5.7 seconds, higher than the 5-second threshold for high risk of pneumonia; after four weeks, the group taking capsaicin lowered time-to-swallowing to 3.5 seconds, while the placebo group remained at baseline value. Researchers concluded daily oral capsaicin supplementation results in a significant improvement in upper respiratory reflexes, particularly in older people at high risk for aspiration and pneumonia.
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