Hot Cayenne kills prostate cancer cells in study

| January 30, 2012 | 3 Replies
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Capsaicin, which makes cayenne pepper hot, also makes prostate cancer cells commit suicide, a study suggests.

Besides being the best medicinal herb for promoting coronary circulation, cayenne pepper has been documented by the American Association of Cancer Research as being a potentially effective deterrent against prostate cancer.

In the study, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center studied mice that had been genetically modified to have human prostate cancer cells. According to the researchers, capsaicin, which makes cayenne pepper “hot,” can cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.

(Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced in chili peppers, probably as deterrents against certain herbivores and fungi.)

In the study, a capsaicin extract prompted 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide – a process known as apoptosis. Also, prostate cancer tumors in mice fed capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in the untreated mice, as reported in the journal Cancer  Research.

“Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture,” said Dr. Soren Lehmann of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California (Los Angeles) School of Medicine. “It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models.”

Capsaicin was seen to increase the amount of certain proteins involved in the apoptosis process and also reduced the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein which is often produced in high quantities by prostate tumors. The mice were given a dose of capsaicin extract equivalent to a 200 pound man taking 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week.

Diet Heart News conclusion:

While capsaicin isolated from cayenne pepper is worthy for scientists searching for a new drug, in humans, capsaicin extract can have serious side effects not experienced when you consume fresh or dried whole cayenne pepper. Also, bear in mind that pasteurized hot sauces can be irritating and are associated with stomach cancer in Mexico where they are consumed in large amounts.

The benefit of cayenne is in the whole raw form – fresh or dried. You can eat fresh hot cayenne peppers or take capsules of dry milled cayenne with your meals or simply add dry cayenne powder as a spice in your soup, chili, or other dishes. For further information about cayenne formulas in capsules, please go to:

Category: In the News

About the Author ()

I am a Patient Advocate - an independent nutrition researcher. For 20 years, I've applied what I learned as a History Graduate to unravel the confusion and misinformation spewed from the so called low fat "experts." Also, as a two decade veteran of the herb and nutritional supplement business, I've learned that diabetes and diet-related heart disease are reversible and preventable. Al Watson

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