Thursday, January 11, 2007

Spicy food kills cancer

I'm a chili junkie! I love the food I eat to be hot and spicy. Now there is more reason for me to eat spicy food. Researchers say that food rich in capsaicin, an ingredient found in chilli peppers, may offer protection from cancer because of their ability to kill cancer cells. From BBC:
They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria - the cells' energy-generating boiler rooms.

The research raises the possibility that other cancer drugs could be developed to target mitochondria.

The Nottingham University study features in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

The study showed that the family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, the vanilloids, bind to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria to trigger apoptosis, or cell death, without harming surrounding healthy cells.

Lead researcher Dr Timothy Bates said: "As these compounds attack the very heart of the tumour cells, we believe that we have in effect discovered a fundamental 'Achilles heel' for all cancers.

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