The Benefits of Capsaicin and its Help Against Cancer
By combining it with caffeine, we can potentiate the anti-carcinogenic effects of capsaicin. If we can’t handle the spiciness, we can consume it in capsule form.
Cancer is such a terrible disease and we are all hoping against hope for some sort of miracle cure. There are, of course, no miracle cures, but there are some that can help. In today’s article we’ll be looking at the benefits of capsaicin and how it may help against cancer.
The substance we will be looking at today is present in the famous chile peppers. These peppers have a real spicy quality, and contain capsaicin. This is a component that may well have anticarcinogenic potential.
What is capsaicin and how does it work?
Throughout this article, we’ll look at how we can use foods that contain capsaicin. We’ll look at how we should incorporate them into our diets in order to reap the benefits of capsaicin.
The benefits of capsaicin
The benefits of capsaicin are many. Capsaicin belongs to a family of compounds called vanilloids. These compounds can help to eliminate carcinogenic cells. They do this by gluing themselves, literally, to the proteins of some very necessary organelles of the cell (the mitochondria). They can help to actually kill off those cells.
The difference between the mitochondria of cancerous cells and healthy ones is that they have a completely different biochemistry. It is one of the fundamental reasons for the selective action of capsaicin. This susceptibility is innate and selective for cancerous cells.
We can find these substance in high doses in Japanese peppers, chiles, and other types of hot peppers. Experts highly recommend us to start reinforcing our systems for the possible prevention of cancer in general. But in the meantime, UK Cancer Research recommends reducing the risk of cancer by a healthy and balanced diet.
Currently, medications already exist that use capsaicin for topical treatments of muscular tension and psoriasis. This also opens the possibility of using it for the treatment of skin cancer in the future.
How to use chile pepper to help against cancer
Experts at California University (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) carried out recent research into capsaicin. They concluded that a person weighing 90 kg should take up to 400 mg of capsaicin. They should do this three times a week. That is equivalent to the consumption of between three and eight fresh peppers.
And now, we will explain in a little more detail the mechanism by which the chile pepper can help against cancer.
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a normal phenomenon that occurs in the tissues and organs of our bodies. Thanks to this we have a sort of equilibrium among new cells, older cells, and cells that are already deteriorating. However, cancerous cells become somewhat immortal, as they evade the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis.
Scientists observed that capsaicin inhibited the activity of a molecular mechanism (NF-kappa beta). This molecular mechanism, in normal conditions, causes in apoptosis, or cell death, in many kinds of cells.
The spicy component of those chiles also reduced the formation of a protein known as prostate specific antigen (PSA). The prostate can produce this component, and its presence can signal the presence of a tumor in men.
Diet or menu for fighting cancer
If we are currently fighting cancer, then it may well help us to incorporate as many foods containing capsaicin as possible into our diet, namely, peppers and ginger. The spicier a pepper, chile, or cayenne pepper is, the higher concentration of capsaicin it has. We shouldn’t forget that the ideal thing is to eat these items raw. In that way, we conserve all the beneficial properties.
- Chile peppers are the most potent known source of capsaicin, and two examples are jalapeños or habaneros.
- Tabasco is a sauce made from tabasco peppers from the Mexican state of the same name and vinegar and salt. A few drops on your food is a party on your tongue!
- Cumin: although this is much less spicy than the aforementioned ones, it does contain capsaicin. It can add a great flavor to legumes, as well as being the main ingredient in Mojo Canario sauce.
- Curry: one of the main ingredients is turmeric, which gives it the yellow color and contains small amounts of capsaicin.
Capsaicin is reinforced by caffeine in a synergetic form. This means that the combination of the two can actively help to burn fat. It can even prevent the formation of cancerous cells. Maybe you don’t fancy dipping peppers in your morning coffee. However, you can take capsaicin and caffeine in pill form, and save your tongue the burn. However, it won’t stop you sweating!
The benefits of capsaicin are clear, and we hope that in the future it may be able to harnessed in a wonderful way to help to defeat cancer.