We may share a unique love-hate relationship with chilli, but it is becoming quite a hot topic of discussion in the world of health and nutrition. Besides lifting the spice quotient of your food, chillies also happen to have immense medicinal value. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed the compound responsible for chilli's heat could help slow the spread of lung cancer. Lung cancer is dubbed as the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.
The scientists revealed, that the compound may help curb the spreading of cancer. Most cancer-related deaths take place due to cancer spreading to distant sites, a process called metastasis.
"Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasise to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat," said one of the study authors Jamie Friedman from Marshall University in the US.
"Our study suggests the natural compound capsaicin from chilli peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients," said Friedman, a doctoral candidate who performed the research in the laboratory of Piyali Dasgupta at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
For the study, the scientists studied three lines of cultured human non-small cell lung cancer cells, researchers observed capsaicin inhibited invasion which happens to be the first step of the metastatic process.
The findings showed that mice with metastatic cancer that consumed capsaicin showed smaller areas of metastatic cancer cells in the lung compared with mice not receiving the treatment.
The findings were presented during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting being held from April 6-9 in Orlando, Florida.
The experiments also suggested that capsaicin tends to suppresses lung cancer metastasis by inhibiting activation of the protein Src. This particular protein plays a crucial role in the signalling that controls cellular processes like proliferation, differentiation, motility and adhesion.
"We hope one day capsaicin can be used in combination with other chemotherapeutics to treat a variety of lung cancers," said Friedman.
(With inputs IANS)