Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Spicy foods are good for you

I've always been a fan of spicy foods, and now there is even more reasons to like them. Apparently capsaicin, the pungent ingredient of peppers, seems to target mitochondria and cause cancer cell apoptosis. It has proven to be effective in a variety of cancers, with many publications showing efficacy on prostate cancer xenografts. Since we are on the subject of food and anti-cancer properties check out this great review: "we present evidence that numerous agents identified from fruits and vegetables can interfere with several cell-signaling pathways. The agents include curcumin (turmeric), resveratrol (red grapes, peanuts and berries), genistein (soybean), diallyl sulfide (allium), S-allyl cysteine (allium), allicin (garlic), lycopene (tomato), capsaicin (red chilli), diosgenin (fenugreek), 6-gingerol (ginger), ellagic acid (pomegranate), ursolic acid (apple, pears, prunes), silymarin (milk thistle), anethol (anise, camphor, and fennel), catechins (green tea), eugenol (cloves), indole-3-carbinol (cruciferous vegetables), limonene (citrus fruits), beta carotene (carrots), and dietary fiber. For instance, the cell-signaling pathways inhibited by curcumin alone include NF-kappaB, AP-1, STAT3, Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), caspases, PARP, IKK, EGFR, HER2, JNK, MAPK, COX2, and 5-LOX."


Rob said...

I think that anticancer drugs therefore should really be measured in Scoville units.

Anonymous Coward said...

Funny, you can hit all of them with one curry taken with tea and a glass of wine and fruit as desert. Those Indians are onto something.