New Delhi: It has been claimed that chilli peppers can cause death if taken in large quantities.
According to Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute and responsible for finding the world`s hottest chilli pepper the Bhut Jolokia, chilli peppers can lead to death but most people`s bodies falter long before they reach that point.
"Theoretically, one could eat enough really hot chillies to kill you," Live Science quoted him as saying.
"A research study in 1980 calculated that three pounds of extreme chillies in powder form - of something like the Bhut Jolokia - eaten all at once could kill a 150-pound person.
However, one`s body would react sooner and not allow it to happen.
One would have to eat it all in one sitting," he said.
Chilli peppers activate sympathetic nervous system, which helps control most of the body`s internal organs, to expend more energy, so that the body burns more calories when the same food is eaten with chilli peppers.
"Eating chilli is associated with increases in metabolic rate and thermogenesis," John Prescott, editor of the journal Food Quality and Preference, said.
"Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chilli, does cause tissue inflammation so the mucosa of the stomach or intestines might be damaged by a sufficiently large dose," he added.