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More Revelations About The Latest Spicy Cancer Fighter

The good news just keeps on coming regarding the recently acknowledged potential of capsaicin -- the active ingredient in chili peppers -- as a natural treatment for type 1 diabetes and cancer. New research has targeted how capsaicin triggers apoptosis, the death of cancer cells.

Based on contact with cultures from various human cancer cells (lung and pancreatic), capsaicin -- part of the vanilloid family -- binds to proteins in cancer cell mitochondria, triggering cellular death without harming healthy cells.

So sure of the benefits, even the lead researcher from the UK believes using capsaicin this way has uncovered, perhaps, a universal "Achilles heel" for all cancers. And, considering capsaicin and other vanilloids are common in the average diet, researchers believe it may be possible that a diet richer in spicy foods could be prescribed one day for cancer patients or those at risk.

Just more evidence -- if you really needed any more of it -- that the foods you eat greatly influence your health.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications January 2, 2007

BBC News January 9, 2007