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April 22, 2005

Chili, Broccoli Help Prevent Cancer

Topics: Health Issues

Broccoli and red chili peppers may help fight cancer by slowing the growth of cancerous tumor cells, U.S. researchers reported. In fact, they may be especially helpful in hard-to-treat cancers such as pancreatic and ovarian cancer.

What does this food "odd couple" have in common? Both contain cancer fighting compounds. Capsaicin, the ingredient that makes chili peppers hot, and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a constituent of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, are the two in question.

Capsaicin caused cancer cells in the pancreas to self-destruct, in a process called apoptosis. PEITC interfered with a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, which is involved in the growth of ovarian and other cancerous tumors.

The studies may help explain why people who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer, researchers said.

More ...

Hat tip - The Cancer Blog

Posted by Hyscience at April 22, 2005 11:01 PM

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