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Chili Peppers Can Kill Cancer Cells

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their fire, can kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, with no side effects, according to a study by researchers at Nottingham University in the UK.

The study, led by Dr. Timothy Bates, found that capsaicin killed laboratory-grown lung and pancreatic cancer cells by attacking tumor cells' source of energy and triggering cell-suicide.

"This is incredibly exciting and may explain why people living in countries like Mexico and India, who traditionally eat a diet which is very spicy, tend to have lower incidences of many cancers that are prevalent in the Western world," Bates said.

Other studies show that capsaicin

  • can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches
  • helps stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combating nasal congestion
  • may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • can help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers
  • may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation
  • may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form.

Cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

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