Cancer, as a class of diseases typified by out-of-control cell growth is very prevalent nowadays. It is one of the top killers around the world. According to World Health Organization, different forms of cancer were responsible for 6.72 million deaths worldwide in the year 2000. It accounted for 7.4 million deaths in 2004. Cancer, as we all know is the uncontrollable formation of abnormal cells in the body.
Dealing with cancer is very complicated. The modern treatment of cancer like chemotherapy can be as frightening as the disease itself. Chemotherapy destroys cancerous cells, but the side effects that include nausea, loss of appetite, and hair loss side effects of chemotherapy are serious medical conditions that also need prevention. Because of this, cancer patients keep on looking for alternative forms of treating such disease.
One alternative medicine for treating cancer is capsaicin. Capsaicin is an active compound found in chili, chili pepper and cayenne pepper. It is an odorless, tasteless antioxidant. This component gives chili its unique hotness. Because of this exceptional attribute, it is used as a flavoring agent to many cuisines around the globe. In addition, it was also discovered that it can be a good ingredient in weight loss pills, treatment of inflammatory diseases, sinusitis and nasal congestion relief and others.
The greatest discovery regarding capsaicin is that it can cure cancer. A research published by American Association for Cancer Research (2006) found that capsaicin inhibits the growth of Androgen-Independent, p53 Mutant Prostate Cancer Cells. Another study conducted by researchers at Nottingham University in the UK Nottingham University in the UK led by Dr. Timothy Bates discovered that capsaicin is able to attack tumor cells’ source of energy and initiates cell-suicide but leave the healthy cells in its good condition.
The above study of Dr. Bates and colleagues learned that capsaicin attacked the tumor cells’ mitochondria and this leads to the production of ATP, the activated carrier which gives energy to organisms. According to Dr. Bates, countries like Mexico and India whose people are accustomed to very spicy food end have lower number of cancer patients because of the healing feature of Capsaicin found in chili, chili pepper and cayenne pepper.
The research by Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute together with The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered that Capsaicin destroy a significant amount of the developed cancer cells and can hinder the development of the cancer infected tumors. They used mice in proving this. According to them, Capsaicin destroyed about 80 percent of the developed cancer cells growing inside mice. After the treatment with Capsaicin, they learned that there is 20 % significantly decrease of tumors in mice.
It was confirmed by above researches that Capsaicin targets cancerous cells and does nothing with the healthy ones. It is important to bear in mind that while Capsaicin does show promise in treating cancer, eating too much of it can be harmful. Thus, knowing that it contains multiple health benefits, it is always safe to consume chili peppers from mild to fiery.