Cayenne Health Benefits
Cayenne health benefits include the potential to kill prostate cancer cells and reduce pain. Also known as African pepper or capsicum fruit, cayenne pepper has a high concentration of a substance called capsaicin, which is the ingredient that has shown an ability to destroy prostate cancer cells.
Cayenne pepper is also known as African pepper or capsicum fruit. It’s active ingredient, capsaicin, has been studied in a number of research endeavors for fighting cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach and gallbladder cancer. (Bley 2012)
In a laboratory study published in 2007, for example, scientists found that capsaicin slowed growth of prostate cancer cells and encouraged them to “commit suicide” (apoptosis). (Sanchez 2007) In a more recent study, Italian researchers reported that capsaicin can induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. (Ziglioli 2009) A study performed at the University of California, Los Angeles, showed capsaicin to have what the researchers called a “profound antiproliferative effect on prostate cancer cell.” This means cayenne health benefits included inducing cell suicide and leading the authors to note that capsaicin “may have a role in the management of prostate cancer.” (Mori 2006)
Researchers who conducted a study at Nottingham University and published it in 2007 reported that they found the how and why of cayenne health benefits. They explained that capsaicin kills cancer cells by attacking the mitochondria, the energy-generating portion of cells. The family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, called the vanilloids, attach to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria and trigger apoptosis without harming the surrounding healthy cells. (Athanasiou 2007)
Although cayenne supplements are available, they should be used with caution because they have the potential to cause stomach distress. Men who want to explore cayenne health benefits should talk to their healthcare provider before starting supplementation.
Athanasiou A et al. Vanilloid receptor agonists and antagonists are mitochondrial inhibitors: how vanilloids cause non-vanilloid receptor mediated cell death. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007 Mar 2; 354(1): 50-55.
Bley K et al. A comprehensive review of the carcinogenic and anticarcinogenic potential of capsaicin. Toxicol Pathol 2012 Aug; 40(6): 847-73
Mori A et al. Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, inhibits the growth of androgen-independent, p53 mutant prostate cancer cells. Cancer Res 2006 Mar 15; 66(6): 3222-29.
Sanchez AM et al. Apoptosis induced by capsaicin in prostate PC-3 cells involves ceramide accumulation, neutral sphingomyelinase, and JNK activation. Apoptosis 2007; 12(11): 2013-24.
Ziglioli F et al. Vanilloid-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells through a TRPV-1 dependent and a TRPV-1-independent mechanism. Acta Biomed 2009 Apr; 80(1): 13-20