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Cut Cancer Risk with These Two Foods

Do you like spicy foods? If you do, you may be pleased to find that certain ingredients in your favorite dishes could protect you from cancer.


New research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that combining two flavorful foods – ginger and chili peppers – may result in a beneficial health boost. Nutrients within the combination may synergistically reduce your risk of lung cancer.

Researchers with Henan University fed mice prone to lung cancer either capsaicin – the compound that gives chili peppers their “kick” – or 6-gingerol (the pungent compound in ginger) or a combination of both. Those that received the combination had a 20% lower risk of developing cancer.

Both ingredients affect TRPV1, which controls tumor progression.

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Capsaicin’s use as a medicine dates back centuries. Much of the research related to cancer involves “apoptosis”, or cell death. Ginger may work by blocking the growth of cancer cells and limiting its ability to spread. Ginger may also help by reducing inflammation.

Tonight, treat yourself to a dish such as this one from the Food Network, which combines ginger and chili peppers plus other bonus nutrients from onion, bell pepper, and garlic!

Shengnan Geng, Gangjun Du et al. "Gingerol Reverses the Cancer-Promoting Effect of Capsaicin by Increased TRPV1 Level in a Urethane-Induced Lung Carcinogenic Model". J. Agric. Food Chem., 2016, 64 (31), pp 6203–6211

Photo Credit:
By cyclonebill from Copenhagen, Denmark – via Wikimedia Commons