Eating Chili Peppers Could Slow The Spread Of Lung Cancer 

mbg Contributor By Caroline Muggia
mbg Contributor
Caroline Muggia is a writer, environmental advocate, and registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College.
Eating Chili Peppers Could Slow The Spread Of Lung Cancer

Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko / Stocksy

We've all heard the phrase "food is medicine," and in this case, it really could be.

A new study published in Experimental Biology found that the compound capsaicin in hot chili peppers could slow the spread of lung cancer. This is big news as lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women.

The researchers examined human non-small-cell lung cancer cells and saw that capsaicin stopped the cells from moving into other tissues, the first indication of the spread of cancer. This is particularly important because the primary reason lung cancer is so hard to treat is it is difficult to detect in early stages, and once symptoms arise it often has spread to other parts of the body. It can spread to other areas of the body including the brain, bones, and adrenal glands in a process called metastasis.

The study also found that the compound decreased the number of metastatic cancer cells in the lungs of mice whose lung cancer had already spread compared to those who were not given capsaicin.

"Our study suggests that the natural compound capsaicin from chili peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients," said Jamie Friedman, a doctoral candidate who performed the research in the laboratory of Piyali Dasgupta, Ph.D., at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in a statement.

While more research is needed to determine the efficacy and viability of using capsaicin in a clinical setting, the study suggests the possibility of using it in conjunction with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy down the line to treat lung cancer.

It's exciting to hear that this property in a common food could have potentially lifesaving benefits, and we really can't wait to hear more.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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