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Monday, March 24, 2008

Peppers, Capsaicin, and Prostate Cancer

The main ingredient in hot peppers, capsaicin, could help those with prostate cancer. A recent study conducted by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center shows that capsaicin slowed down the development of prostate tumors and activated cell death for cancerous cells.

The study was not conducted on humans, but was instead conducted on mice that had been genetically modified to have human prostate cancer cells. The mice were given a healthy dose of pepper extract, 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week.

While this amount of extract is the equivalent to eating three to eight fresh habenero peppers a week - the pepper with the highest amount of capsaicin - medical experts advise against upping your pepper intake. Eating a high amount of chilies has been linked to stomach cancer.

The researchers are happy with their results, but are still unsure how it may help men with prostate cancer. Some doctors have mentioned the idea of extracting capsaicin to make it available as a drug treatment for prostate cancer, but nothing is in the works as of yet.

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