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Cancer's Achilles heel found?

9th January 2007

04092006_cervical_cancer1.jpgBritish scientists believe they have discovered how certain spicy foods kill cancer cells.

They have found that capsaicin, an ingredient in jalapeno peppers, triggers the death of cancer cells by attacking mitochondria at the heart of the cell.  The tests on cultures of human lung and pancreatic cancers revealed that the family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, the vanilloids, bind to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria causing apoptosis (cell death) without harming surrounding healthy cells. 

The Nottingham University breakthrough study raises hopes that the innate vulnerability of all cancers has been discovered and that drugs could now be developed to attack mitochondria in a similar way to capsaicin. 

Lead researcher Dr Timothy Bates said that the mitochondria in cancer cells could be targeted by other compounds and that the investigation and development of anti-mitochondrial drugs for cancer chemotherapy was likely to be "extremely significant" in the fight against cancer.

Dr Bates added that the fact that capsaicin and other vanilloids are already commonly found in the diet proves they are safe to use which could make the development of a drug containing them a relatively quick and easy process. Capsaicin is already used by doctors to treat muscle strain and psoriasis.
 
A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK has warned members of the public against eating vast quantities of jalapeno peppers to prevent cancer saying that more research needs to be done to test the efficacy of capsaicin outside of the laboratory.  The charity recommends reducing the risk of cancer by eating a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruit.

 

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Comments

Kate Mihalicz

Sunday 11th March 2007 @ 23:36

I take 500mg twice daily of capsaicin to aide in my fight against lung cancer. Should I be taking more? Kate

Wanda Cline

Wednesday 29th April 2009 @ 15:54

I know a lady who cured herself of Stage 4 bladder cancer with cayenne pepper capsules (She had received six weeks of chemo first, but she still had cancer after six weeks, and didn’t want to continue the chemo.)

She took 2 capsules of 40,000 units cayenne pepper after breakfast with a lot of water and 2 after dinner. She would eat an orange after the pepper, which helped with the burning. After a while she increased her dosage to 2 capsules of 100,000 units morning and evening. The cancer was gone in a few months.


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