Is this tasty spice a cancer cause
or a cancer cure?
December 9th, 2012 by Holly Cornish
It sounds improbable but it’s TRUE! Scientists conducting animal studies of the nutrient capsaicin found that in some cases it induced tumors in the liver and intestines.
But they didn’t see the same results in humans. In fact, in more than one instance they found the opposite to be true. We’ve often pointed out that the results of animal studies don’t always hold true for humans.
This is a case in point. Capsaicin — a common, inexpensive food item –appears to be a valuable cancer fighter. Keep reading and I’ll explain. . .
Continued below. . .
Why Probiotics Aren’t Enough to Save You From
Gas, Bloating and Difficult Digestion
You’ve probably heard that Probiotics are critical for good digestion; that they can alleviate constipation, diarrhea, gas, and even support your immune system.
But Probiotics alone aren’t enough to save you. They can even fail your immune system.
If your favorite foods don’t agree with you anymore, your doctor may suggest ant-acids and laxatives. But if you want to get to the root of the problem, you need digestive enzymes.
Without digestive enzymes, undigested food sits in your digestive tract leaving you bloated, gassy, constipated or suffering diarrhea and you grow weak, lose energy, age faster and grow ill.
The Mayo Clinic confirms certain enzyme production can decrease up to 97% between the ages of 30 and 69.
No wonder digestion keeps getting worse as you get older and health problems increase!
And now there’s a breakthrough formula that combines the most powerful Probiotics with the most critical digestive enzymes to solve your digestion worries forever!
Even if the word “capsaicin” is new to you, I’m sure you know some of its food sources like cayenne pepper, jalapeños and other hot peppers, and paprika.
Several studies have shown that capsaicin scores a major win in the fight against prostate cancer by:
- Causing prostate cancer cells to shrivel and die.
- Slowing tumor growth.
- Reducing production of prostate specific antigen (PSA—a protein abundant in tumors).
Capsaicin is part of the group of annual plants in the nightshade family. These plants are native to Mexico and Central America, but are grown in other warm climates too.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), capsaicin is the most-studied active ingredient in this group of plants. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes its value and has approved its use on skin.
And plenty of folks are probably very happy about that…
A simple way to ease the pain
When it comes to applying capsaicin to the skin (i.e. topically), the ACS reported these positive results:
- A 1989 study found topical capsaicin was an effective pain reliever for 50 percent of a group of women who had undergone mastectomies for breast cancer.
- A 1991 study determined that capsaicin cream reduced pain associated with the nerve disorder called diabetic neuropathy.
- In 1994 a research review concluded that topical capsaicin could be combined with other medicines to address the burning, shooting pain that cancer patients often experience after surgery.
- A 2006 study conducted by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that oral capsaicin mixed with taffy reduced pain in eleven patients with mouth sores caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Despite its spicy hot character, capsaicin clearly has properties that can help soothe and ease pain! But that’s not all it can do to improve your health.
Many proponents of alternative medicine highly recommend capsaicin to address a variety of health problems, including cramps, diarrhea, headaches, loss of appetite, motion sickness, malaria, toothaches, ulcers, and upset stomach. Quite a list! But. . .
Is there any proof that capsaicin can fight cancer?
Some advocates claim capsaicin has antioxidants to help clobber cell damaging free radicals. And others believe it may protect lungs from cell damaging cigarette smoke.
Although research on capsaicin’s effects on cancer is ongoing, The American Association for Cancer Research already reports on these recent study results:
- Leukemia—Japanese researchers suggested that the natural compound capsaicin would be a less toxic way to induce apoptosis in leukemia cells than current chemotherapy drugs.The researchers said they did not observe any organ damage during experiments using live mice in a leukemia model. They also found that capsaicin did not affect the growth of normal bone marrow cells from healthy volunteers.
- Lung cancer—in 2007, researchers at the University of Nottingham in England suggested that capsaicin may induce apoptosis in lung cancer cells. The nutrient appears to attack the mitochondria—the cell energy center—without harming nearby healthy cells.
- Prostate cancer—as reported in an earlier article (Issue #23), capsaicin caused about 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells grown in mice cultures to undergo apoptosis. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and colleagues from UCLA Medical School said the mice received a dose equivalent to about 400 milligrams of capsaicin, three times a week given to a 200 pound human male.
These results make capsaicin sound promising as a cancer treatment. But despite acknowledging its usefulness as a topical pain reliever—the ACS won’t go as far as endorsing it for this purpose. Don’t forget, the ACS is the last word in conventional cancer medicine; they aren’t receptive to alternatives.
The organization’s website states that capsaicin’s “side effects limit its usefulness for some people.”
What side effects? Aren’t cayenne and other peppers considered safe to eat for people who aren’t allergic to them?
Yes they are! But some people have found that taking oral capsaicin supplements upsets their stomachs or gives them diarrhea.
In other cases, the peppers themselves can cause stinging, burning, or pain to your mouth or mucous membranes.
Still others are bothered by the runny nose, skin flushing, sweating and tearing the supplements can cause. Personally, I love spicy hot foods. And, yes, I do get a running nose when I eat them. I haven’t experienced the other side effects.
Stinging and pain in the mouth sound unlikely to me if you don’t permit the capsaicin tablet or capsule to dissolve in your mouth, but I don’t have firsthand experience of this.
Compared to the nausea, hair loss and other sickening side effects of chemotherapy drugs and radiation, capsaicin products may be a natural and less dangerous way to help rid your body of cancer. If you experience unpleasant side effects, stop taking the supplement. There are many, many other natural cancer supplements you can try instead.
Last issue we wrote about a new diet supplement that’s sweeping the nation. There may be some doubts about whether it’s safe. If you missed this important news, you can catch it now just below.
New Miracle Treatment — or Latest Fad?
The raspberry ketone diet craze is sweeping the nation, and now there’s talk that it not only works for losing weight, it’s a cancer treatment, too!
Is it just a fad, or is there something to this? There’s reason to be hopeful, but also reason to be careful. Let’s take a look …
Continued below. . .
Naturally wipe out the cancer like it was a common cold?
That’s what one woman in Delaware was able to do — in only three weeks! And it was no fluke. It all started with this secret… that for 21 years has been helping people detect their cancer early — and it’s 99% accurate. The medical community either doesn’t know about it or chooses to ignore it. But you can get the details HERE.
What are ketones in the first place?
Raspberries themselves have always been considered part of a healthy diet, given that they’re high in antioxidants and low in calories. And ketones come from red raspberries, though they’re also found in cranberries and blackberries.
Raspberry ketones are the primary aromatic compound of the red raspberry — in plain English, ketones are the elements that give off that delicious raspberry smell you find in soft drinks and ice creams. You can have the scent without actually having the fruit.
In fact, you can’t get a significant dose of ketones from eating raspberries. You’d need to eat roughly 90 pounds worth of fruit to get the same concentration found in ketone supplements.
Chemically, raspberry ketones are biosynthesized from coumaroyl-CoA, which is a key compound in plant chemicals called flavonoids. Ketones are also considered antioxidants, and have a structure similar to capsaicin (that’s what gives chili peppers their spice) and synephrine, which is a natural alternative to ephedrine, often used in weight loss supplements.
Besides medicinal uses and flavorings, raspberry ketone is used in makeup and as a fragrance. Some people even consider it helpful in correcting hair loss.
Consumable raspberry ketone is a manufactured product and retails through a variety of supplement makers.
Raspberry ketones got a lot of lip service last February after being featured on the Dr. Oz show. The segment was titled “Miracle fat-burner in a bottle” (and who doesn’t love that idea?). Stores couldn’t keep up with the demand that followed.
A lot of the excitement comes from mice studies where the animals were put on a high-fat diet and given significant doses of ketones for 10 weeks. The mice that got the high ketone doses accumulated less fat than the control group. They also appeared to have a significant increase in fat decomposition.
Because of those animal studies, it’s believed that raspberry ketones might help with metabolism. The theory is that they affect a hormone called adiponectin which helps regulate glucose levels and the breakdown of fatty acids.
Some healers refer to adiponectin as a fat-burning hormone that helps enhance sensitivity to insulin and decrease blood sugar levels. It’s also known to increase lean body mass.
Adiponectin levels are mostly determined by diet, exercise, genetics, and the amount of abdominal fat a person has. It’s believed that by increasing adiponectin, the body is better able to regulate metabolism and keep stored-up fat in check.
But if we overeat or quit exercising, adiponectin levels get overwhelmed by the amount of calories that need to be metabolized. That’s when love handles and belly fat start to build.
Ketones and cancer prevention
Here’s where the cancer connection comes in. When adiponectin levels start to drop, the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity-related cancers goes up. The chance of developing malignancies also goes up.
On top of that, several cancer cell lines have adiponectin receptors. And in vitro tests of adiponectin showed that it limits cancer cell proliferation and prompts apoptosis (cell death).
Researchers have also found that the less adiponectin a woman has, the greater her risk of endometrial cancer and — if she’s post-menopausal — breast cancer. And because low adiponectin is also associated with insulin resistance — that early warning sign of diabetes — and insulin resistance helps determine obesity, a drop in adiponectin levels may mean a rise in dysfunctional fat tissue that could lead to cancer.
So it’s clear that adiponectin plays a role both in determining cancer risk and may point toward a possible treatment. Plus, medications that increase adiponectin levels are proving to be useful as anticancer agents. So in terms of understanding and treating obesity-associated malignancies, adiponectin could be an important key.
If raspberry ketones are the best natural vehicle we have for upping adiponectin levels, that’s great news. But we don’t quite know that yet…
So far, so good — but there’s not enough evidence
A problem right now is that high-profile endorsements with little scientific backing are giving raspberry ketones a pretty bad name. From what I understand, they may help you get off a weight-loss plateau or get back on track with your weight loss goals, but they aren’t a miracle drug in terms of obesity.
Something to keep in mind is that raspberry ketones aren’t considered effective on their own. You’ve still got to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle if you want to realize the benefits of this supplement. They aren’t a magic bullet. They’re just one part of a plan to lose weight.
What’s more, there are other natural ways to increase your adiponectin levels, besides raspberry ketone supplementation. Exercise and diet go a long way. As I mentioned above, adiponectin levels fall too low in the first place because we eat too much and we’re too inactive.
Other tips for increasing adiponectin levels include drinking coffee and taking sweet potato extract or the herbal supplement berberine. Again — the science of manipulating adiponetin levels is too new to say much more.
If you decide to take the plunge anyway, what dose of ketones should you take? Turns out it’s not easy to say. It depends on basic factors like age and general health along with preexisting conditions.
Little is known about side effects (if any) of raspberry ketones. We need more research, as usual. Some medical professionals worry about the connection between raspberry ketones and synephrine, given that synephrine is a stimulant. It’s known to cause the jitters at least or high blood pressure at worst.
That leaves the whole safety issue up in the air, although the FDA gave raspberry ketones GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) over forty years ago. I suspect they were looking at small doses used as a food flavoring; they probably weren’t considering large, therapeutic doses.
I’m no expert, but this isn’t rocket science: If you find yourself feeling too wired or you’re having insomnia, cut back on your dose or stop altogether.
Raspberry ketones hold a lot of promise as an herbal medicine for several processes that underlie disease. I look forward to learning more as new findings come out.
Lee Euler, Publisher