Good news for spicy food lovers: the active ingredient found in chili peppers – capsaicin – could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The research team from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine fed capsaicin to mice that were genetically susceptible to develop multiple tumors in the gut. The compound seems to work by activating TRPV1, a receptor in cells that form the lining in mouse (and human) intestines, leading to a reaction that helps reduce risk from tumors.
The researchers were able to reduce the growth of the tumors and extended the lives of the mice by more than 30 percent. The treatment may work in humans, too.
So, while waiting for further scientific developments, start adding a little bit of chili peppers to your food, by trying the following recipes:
Eyal Raz et al, “Ion channel TRPV1-dependent activation of PTP1B suppresses EGFR-associated intestinal tumorigenesis” The Journal of Clinical Investigation on August 1, 2014 doi: 10.1172/JCI72340