Red Chili Pepper May Help Prevent and Treat Cancer
May 14, 2005
The role diet and nutrition have been playing on cancer risk, prevention
and treatment has been a major focus of research, as certain nutrients
in vegetables and dietary agents have been found to protect the
body against diseases such as cancer.
And supporting evidence keeps on coming ...
According to a pair of studies by scientists at the University
of Pittsburg School of Medicine, vegetables such as broccoli and
spices like red chili pepper may provide a cancer-fighting benefit
by slowing or preventing the growth of tumor cells.
Despite advances in surgery and other therapies, the findings looked
at the effect of these dietary agents on cancers -- ovarian and
pancreatic -- that have incredibly poor prognoses.
The first study examined the potential of capsaicin, the ingredient
in red chili pepper often associated with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory
Researchers found capsaicin exhibited anticancer activity (it
induced programmed cell death to human cancer cells without affecting
normal cells) against pancreatic cancer, an aggressive form of
the disease typified by exceptionally poor outcomes.
The second study examined the therapeutic benefits of phenethyl
isothiocyanate (PEITC), a compound found in cruciferous vegetables
like broccoli, on ovarian cancer, a disease often detected at an
advanced stage and one of the leading causes of gynecologic cancer-related
deaths among women in the United States:
After ovarian cancer cells were exposed to PEITC for 24 hours,
researchers found the effect of epidermal growth factor receptor
(EGFR) -- which spurs the growth of ovarian cancer cells -- was
April 20, 2005