Have lots of spicy foods! I know they are unhealthy in general; but they can again do a lot for our health — kill cancer cells! Scientists have recently discovered the key to the ability of spicy foods to kill cancer cells.
An ingredient of jalapeno peppers — capsaicin – is found to be capable of helping kill cancer cell. It does this by attacking mitochondria of the cancer cells. Mitochondria is the energy-generating boiler rooms of the cells.
With the help of this finding, other cancer drugs could be developed for targeting mitochondria. This capsaicin-belonging molecule-family – vanilloids — binds to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria and triggers cell death — called apoptosis. And, in the process, this cell death does not harm surrounding healthy cells, according to the study.
Lead researcher Dr Timothy Bates said,
As these compounds attack the very heart of the tumour cells, we believe that we have in effect discovered a fundamental ‘Achilles heel’ for all cancers.
The biochemistry of the mitochondria in cancer cells is very different from that in normal cells. This is an innate selective vulnerability of cancer cells.
The study made by the Nottingham University features in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.