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Scientists discovered that an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, called capsaicin, could cause cancer cell death by attacking the principal energy source of the cell-mitochondria.
It was found that vanilloids, molecule family to which capsaicin belongs, bind to proteins in the mitochondria of the cancerous cells and cause cell death- apoptosis.

Another benefit of the capsaicin, besides killing cancerous cells, is that it does not harm healthy cells.

Scientists are hoping that this finding will help them develop a drug that will attack only cancerous cells and preserve the healthy ones since capsaicin doesn’t have the same affects on cancerous and non-cancerous cells.
Capsaicin is already being used in the treatment of muscle strain and psoriasis and there’s a question if they could adapt a topical treatment to treat certain types of skin cancer.

Patients at risk of developing cancer could be recommended to eat spicy foods to prevent or treat the disease.

Capsaicin has been tested and proven effective against pancreatic cancer and liver cancer cells in the lab but there were no trial on humans yet.
Other compounds have also been found to trigger cancer cells death but more reaserch is needed.

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Very interesting...

Where does the plant originate?

How do people prepare foods that traditionally cook with this type of pepper?
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