It still amazes me how the chemicals contained in the whole foods we eat work like natural medicines that can protect and heal our bodies from disease. New research has uncovered more evidence of the cancer-fighting properties of capsaicin, the peppery component that makes jalapenos hot.
A capsaicin extract caused the death of about 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells in mice and slowed the development of prostate tumors, according to American researchers. Specifically, capsaicin inhibited the activity of a chemical (NF-kappa Beta) that leads to the natural death of cancer cells. It also reduced the production of PSA, the protein produced by prostate tumors in high quantities (and a marker for cancer screenings).
The catch: Scientists fed mice 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week. That’s about the same dose that would be given to a 200-pound man — anywhere from three to eight habanera peppers.
Nevertheless, the more natural weapons you have to fight prostate cancer, the better off your body will be.