Scientists have announced that they have found that eating ginger and chili peppers can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
According to scientists at the American Chemical Society, the compounds found in capsaicin, and 6-gingerol from ginger, cut the risk of lung cancer.
Researchers have known for some time that ginger and chili peppers contain lots of healthy substances, including numerous antioxidants, but new evidence suggests that eating both of these foods together could help prevent cancer.
Scientists believe the fiery peppers when combined with ginger could help fight the deadly disease.
Past studies have suggested capsaicin, that gives chillis their kick, may cause cancer.
But the new findings suggest the pungent compound in ginger, 6-ginergol, could counteract the potentially harmful effects of capsaicin.
Both chilli and ginger are widely used spices, particularly in Asian cuisine, and scientists have long studied their potential health benefits.
Yet, some past research has pointed to negative health effects.
Scientists have suggested people who are addicted to spicy food and whose diets are rich in capsaicin might be at greater risk of stomach cancer.
But. the new findings provide more hopeful results.
The researchers at the American Chemical Society, found ginger when eaten in combination with chilli peppers actually help fight cancer.
The two key compounds, capsaicin and 6-gingerol both bind to the same receptor on cells – one that is also linked to tumour growth.
Over the course of several weeks, researchers fed mice prone to lung cancer either capsaicin or 6-gingerol alone, or a combination of the two compounds.
They found those mice fed just capsaicin alone were more likely to develop lung tumours.
But, only half of the mice fed 6-gingerol developed the disease.
Surprisingly, the team found an even lower percentage – just 20 per cent – of the mice given capsaicin and 6-gingerol together developed lung cancer.
Future studies will focus on exactly how the compounds interact to help reduce cancer risk, the researchers hope.
The findings are published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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