Posted on Jul 04, 2019, 6 p.m.
A new Marshall University study suggests that chili peppers may provide more benefit than making food taste better, they may have the ability to help fight lung cancer. This study was presented at the 2019 American Society for Investigative Pathology’s Experimental Biology Meeting.
Findings may be important in the battle against cancer, lung cancer is the leading cancer related cause of death among men and women, and most cases become worse as cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body due to metastasis.
“Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasize to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat,” explains study author Jamie Friedman in a release. “Our study suggests that the natural compound capsaicin from chili peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients.”
This study conducted experiments involving 3 groups of lab grown human cells and lung cancer cells; capsaicin was observed to effectively prevent the cancer cells from invading other cells. Mice with metastatic cancer who were fed capsaicin were also observed to exhibit fewer amounts of metastatic cancer cells in their lungs compared to cancer ridden controls.
According to the authors capsaicin impedes lung cancer metastasis by suppressing SRC proteins which are involved in several cellular processes such as proliferation and independent movement. The team is investigating less spicy ingestions methods that will still retains all of the cancer fighting qualities that capsaicin may possess.
“We hope that one day capsaicin can be used in combination with other chemotherapeutics to treat a variety of lung cancers,” Friedman says. “However, using capsaicin clinically will require overcoming its unpleasant side effects, which include gastrointestinal irritation, stomach cramps and a burning sensation.”
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