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Chillies a Hot New Element in Battle Against Cancer

Chillies a Hot New Element in Battle Against Cancer

Wednesday, March 22nd 2006

Red hot chillies contain an ingredient that drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, new research shows.

Capsaicin, which causes the heat in chillies, prompts human prostate cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death, or apoptosis, say studies published in the American journal, Cancer Research.

Scientists from the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, together with researchers from UCLA, found capsaicin has a "profound inhibiting effect on the growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo"

The ingredient induced around 80 per cent of prostate cancer cells growing in mice to "follow the molecular pathways" leading to apoptosis - cell death.

Prostate cancer tumours treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in non-treated mice.

The weight, skin and activity of treated mice were similar to those, which had not been treated "suggesting that capsaicin had no major side effects on these mice"

Sren Lehmann, visiting scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and the UCLA School of Medicine, said: "Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture."

"It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumours formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models."

Lehmann estimated the dose of pepper extract fed to the mice was equivalent to giving 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week to a 90kg man - about three to eight fresh habanera peppers, depending on capsaicin content.

Habaneras are the highest-rated pepper for capsaicin content, typically containing between 60 to 120 times the levels in the more popular Jalapeno.

The researchers concluded: "Our data suggests that capsaicin, or a related analogue, may have a role in the management of prostate cancer."

Last year, two studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States, looked at the effects of chilli pepper and vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage on cancer cells. The first study looked at the potential of capsaicin to fight pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Researchers found that it affected cancerous cells but not normal pancreatic cells.

Sourced from the New Zealand Herald, 18 March 2006
by Jennifer Sym in London

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Prostate Cancer:

Bowel Clear
Cell Food
Enzogenol with ACE and Selenium
Family C - 300 grams
Prosgenia A & B
Epilobium
Men's Formula
Saw Palmetto
Seleno Met
Ultimate Greens Capsules 120's
Zinc

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
Antioxidants
Astra Forte
Cancer
Cayenne to strengthen the circulation, equalise blood pressure, arrest bleeding & assist with colds
DIM Plus to assist in cancer prevention
Foods to help detoxification
Green Tea as a medicinal beverage
Immunity
Nutrient use for specific cancers
Prostate
The Good Health Diet

Related articles can be found here:

Capsaicin Safe, Effective for Intractable Pruritis Ani
High Dairy Product Intake Associated With an Increased Testicular Cancer Risk
Lifestyle Changes May Prevent or Reverse Prostate Cancer
Revised ACS Guidelines for Nutrition, Exercise for Cancer Survivors
Saw Palmetto Extract Effective in Treating Chronic Prostatitis
Second Prostate Cancer Gene Found
Selenium Boosted In Cancer War

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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