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Can hot peppers kill cancer?

If you like your food hot and spicy, you are certainly doing your heart a favor. Studies have shown that hot peppers are able to reduce heart disease. Capsaicin, the chemical compound found in hot peppers, has been widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit the heart.

There are also studies that have found capsaicin able to stop the spread of cells related to more than 40 types of cancer including colon, liver, lung, and pancreatic cancers and leukemia. Researchers found capsaicin is able to stop the first-stage of cancer invasion by blocking a specific protein that is key for the survival of cells.

Evidence also suggests that the capsaicin in hot peppers can kill prostate cancer cells in mice while leaving healthy cells be. This is accomplished by altering the expression of several genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth arrest, angiogenesis and metastasis. The problem though, is the amount of capsaicin it would take to have the desired affect on humans.

While researchers say hot peppers are not responsible for stomach ulcers, eating daily doses large enough to have positive cancer-fighting effects could result in stomach discomfort. There are, however, suggestions that one day it could be harvested in the form of an injection or pill of new medicines.

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