Habaneros Kill Cancer

My love of spicy food has been justified once more: The American Association for Cancer Research released a report today claiming that capsaicin drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.

According to a team of researchers from the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues from UCLA, the pepper component caused human prostate cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death or apoptosis.

Capsaicin induced approximately 80 percent of prostate cancer cells growing in mice to follow the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. Prostate cancer tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in non-treated mice.

Of course, this isn’t just a matter of sprinkling a few red pepper flakes on your pizza; the mice in the study were fed an amount of capsaicin equivalent to a 200 pound man eating 3-8 habaneros 3 times a week! ¡Muy picante!


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