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Hot Peppers and Prostate Cancer

Are Hot Peppers the Cure for Prostate Cancer?

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Updated August 08, 2010

Hot Peppers and Prostate Cancer

Hot Peppers, photo by J. Blarer

Updated August 08, 2010
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have discovered that a compound in hot peppers, capsaicin, can cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. Cellular suicide, medically known as apoptosis, occurred in 80% of the human cells growing in mice used for the study.

The study showed a remarkable decrease in tumor growth in the mice. The mice were orally fed the compound in the amount equivalent to a 200 lb man eating 3-8 [link url-http://phoenix.about.com/od/foodanddrink/ss/chilepepper_4.htm?terms=habanero]habanero peppers about 3 times a week.

Before You Consume Large Amounts of Peppers...

These finding are encouraging, yet preliminary. Although mice are very smiliar to humans, treating prostate cancer in a mouse is different than in a human. Findings also suggest that eating large amounts peppers may block or reduce PSA production, a chemical that can raise red flags on a prostate screening test, called the PSA test. Second, eating large amounts of peppers has been linked to stomach cancer.

The bottom line is that if you like peppers, eat them in moderation. The findings are preliminary, so don't feel like you should rush off and start eating peppers in large quantities.

Sources

UPMC Cancer Center: Hot peppers kill cancer cells in study

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