Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chili compound Capsaicin kills cancer

A Curry A Day Keeps The Doctor Away? ScienceDaily 1/11/07 "The chemical that gives spicy food its kick could hold the key to the next generation of anti-cancer drugs that will kill tumours with few or no side effects for the patient...the chemical compound capsaicin -- which is responsible for the burning sensation when we eat chillies -- can kill cells by directly targeting their energy source...It could mean that patients could control or prevent the onset of cancer by eating a diet rich in capsaicin and that existing products to treat conditions such as psoriasis and muscle strain, which contain the compound and are already approved for medical use, could be adapted to tackle this more serious disease...the family of compounds to which capsaicin belongs, vanilloids, can kill cancer by attacking the mitochondria of the tumour cell, commonly known as its 'powerhouse', which produces ATP, the major energy-containing chemical in the body. By binding proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria the compound triggers apoptosis, or natural cell death, without harming the healthy surrounding cells..."This is incredibly exciting and may explain why people living in countries like Mexico and India, who traditionally eat a diet which is very spicy, tend to have lower incidences of many cancers that are prevalent in the western world."...(Dr Timothy Bates, the study's leader, is a member of the Medical Research Council (MRC) College of Experts )"

Much more on this important research in the article. And another reason to add hot sauce to your food on a regular basis.

Capsaicin in a 2005 study (mice) killed prostate cancer via apoptosis (equiv. of 400mg 3x a week for 200 lb man).

This Texas study shows that capsaicin can help stop skin cancer.

All studies so far seem to indicate that the mitochondria in various cancers is attacked by the capsaicin in chilis and this in turn shuts down cell growth and initiates cell death - apoptosis.

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