There’s a debate raging about the healing properties of capsaicin that’s hotter than the spice itself.
Capsaicin, the component in chile peppers that gives them their spice, has been named as a possible trigger for skin cancer.
Yet, this is the same capsaicin that’s widely known to bring about cell death for a variety of cancers. What’s more, capsaicin is widely consumed in foods with chile peppers all over the world — not to mention being a common ingredient in topical creams for pain relief.
And now people are saying it might cause a certain type of cancer. Let’s take a look. . .
Continued below. . .
Toxic chemical condemned 8 men to die of prostate cancer
. . .but one of them escaped. Here’s how he did it!
John S. watched helplessly as 7 of his Vietnam platoon buddies died of prostate cancer, one by one. They were exposed to chemicals during the war that caused them to get cancer when they reached middle age. Then, in 2002, John found out it was his turn. He got opinions from three different doctors and they all told him the same thing: he’d need a miracle to survive.
John found the miracle he needed. Four years after his diagnosis, he told us, “I am healthy and happy with no symptoms of the disease.” He actually wishes he’d gotten the disease sooner so he could have told his Army buddies this secret. It might have saved their lives.
We’re ALL exposed every day to chemicals similar to the ones that killed these veterans. A man is just about certain to get prostate cancer if he lives long enough. That means John’s life-saving secret is big news for men everywhere. Click here and keep reading. . .
First off, this spicy pepper component
is a known cancer killer
I’ve reported on the value of capsaicin before. In Issue 23 of our newsletter, I talked about the power of this nutrient in helping heal prostate cancer. It’s been shown to make prostate cancer cells disintegrate, in a study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers, along with UCLA Medical School. They showed capsaicin forced 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells into apoptosis (cell death).
One of the scientists involved in the study at the time, Sören Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D., said capsaicin “…also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models.”
In another study, done by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, capsaicin was shown to force pancreatic cancer cells in mice to self-destruct.
Capsaicin has been shown to slow the growth of prostate tumors while lowering the cancer cell production of PSA, or prostate specific antigen. This is pretty important to men over age 50 whose doctors often make them undergo the PSA test to diagnose prostate cancer. (Side note: it’s not a very reliable test, but most doctors still insist on it. Capsaicin can help you impress your doctor by reducing high PSA levels.)
Now comes this dubious claim that capsaicin helps bring about skin cancer.
The claim surfaced from a study conducted by the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota, where lead researcher and professor Ann Bode went on record saying it’s possible that capsaicin increases skin cancer risk. She points out concerns that the natural compound, when used in over-the-counter topical pain creams, could cause problems.
Please note she’s NOT referring to capsaicin taken internally, as in food or supplements. She’s referring only to topical use, and only to skin cancer.
Bode and her research team published their study in the journal Cancer Research. They stated that capsaicin, when applied topically to the skin of mice, actually induced tumors and elevated levels of an inflammatory enzyme (cyclooxygenase-2).
The molecular mechanisms of capsaicin as a cancer-promoter are unclear, and controversial to boot. The charge that capsaicin acts as a carcinogen at the tumor promotion stage comes from its ability to stimulate inflammation. Bode speculates that inflammation caused by capsaicin might be the link to the increase in tumors (as opposed to the spice itself).
But her whole claim is overblown and highly doubtful. Get this: The mice that got cancer were given capsaicin mixed with other substances known to be carcinogens. A control group of mice given ONLY capsaicin did NOT get skin cancer.
Here’s what we know for sure
Capsaicin kills cancer cells thanks to a family connection. It belongs to a family of molecules called the vanilloids which bind to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria. This triggers apoptosis (natural cell death) and does so without hurting healthy cells.
When applied to the skin, it’s believed that capsaicin lessens pain by temporarily disabling a neurotransmitter called substance P that sends pain signals to the brain. It effectively reduces the nervous system’s sensitivity to pain.
In fact, capsaicin has been shown to be quite useful in reducing pain from cancer treatment. A 1997 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology cited a study on cancer patients who had long-term neuropathic pain after surgery. After eight weeks of applying capsaicin topical cream to pain sites, they experienced 53 percent pain reduction (compared to only 17 percent pain reduction from a placebo cream).
The Hormel Institute study itself stops way short of saying topical capsaicin pain cream may be related to skin cancer. It says “capsaicin alone does not act as a carcinogen.” Amen to that. In the Hormel study, capsaicin had lots of help.
Consider this: Mice in the Hormel Institute study received doses of capsaicin mixed with DMBA (7,12-dimetylbenz(a) anthracene) and TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) on their skin. Both DMBA and TPA are known to be cancer-generating, tumor-promoting drugs. Those mice were guaranteed to get tumors. They were administered these substances with the intent of causing skin tumors.
There was a control group of mice treated with capsaicin only. Those mice did not develop skin tumors.
And this is what’s most important as far as I’m concerned: The spice has been shown to be safe in animal studies where it’s administered intravenously. So at least we know it’s not a carcinogen when introduced inside the body. It’s only application to the skin, for pain relief, that poses a possible problem. If you’re really worried about it, don’t use it on your skin.
Just to make my position clear: I believe capsaicin is a safe, natural food to prevent AND cure cancer when taken as food or supplements.
Other uses for capsaicin
Capsaicin is a seriously powerful compound with a variety of uses besides cancer treatment and prevention. It can improve circulation, treat psoriasis, and lessen the pain from cluster headaches. One small study even showed improved hair growth for alopecia patients when capsaicin was taken in conjunction with isoflavone.
New research is even hinting capsaicin has value as a weight loss tool. According to a meta-analysis from Purdue University, the spice has potential in terms of reducing appetite and burning up calories.
And let me add, it’s certainly not a harmless compound. Capsaicin is used in pepper sprays meant for personal defense. It’s a chemical agent in riot control. It’s also used to deter mammalian pests like squirrels from ravaging crops, and in household and garden insect repellents.
In spray form, capsaicin is meant to be painful. If it comes in contact with your eyes or any mucous membranes, you’re going to feel pain. In large quantities — far more than you could ever eat in spicy food — it can even cause death.
You can’t rely on the media to interpret science
What’s clear is that the media bungled the message. Who knows how it started — perhaps a press release that misinterpreted the study data from the get-go. Dr. Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, said it best: “…it serves to illustrate the ignorance of many wire service stories that deal with science.”
Meanwhile, there’s another food ingredient that prevents cancer. In fact, it can cut your lifetime danger of getting cancer by about half! If you missed this important story in the last issue, scroll down and see it now.
Ten-cent Pill Cuts Your
Risk of Cancer in Half
Dozens of scientists have produced study results to confirm that a simple mineral found in the dirt is a powerful, all-natural answer to cancer. I just checked on the Internet and you can easily get it in supplement form for about ten cents a pill.
Its cancer-fighting power is truly awesome. If you take it regularly for years you can expect your danger of getting cancer to go down by about half. But, as usual, the medical establishment has gone all out to squash the evidence. Let’s take a look. . .
Continued below. . .
End Those “Senior Moments” For Good!
Can’t find your car keys for the umpteenth time? Misplace your glasses again? Don’t remember names or faces very well? Ever walk into a room and go blank about why you’re there?
Usually we laugh it off as just another “senior moment.”
There’s no question that small lapses in memory and concentration can happen naturally as you get older. They’re embarrassing. They’re frustrating.
But they’re certainly no joke.
The mental lapses you laugh off today might be red alerts of serious brain changes that can steal away your memory and independence tomorrow.
Selenium is one of the basic elements you may have learned about in chemistry or physics class. It’s atomic number 34 on the periodic chart. And because it’s a common element, it’s just about the cheapest anti-cancer pill you can buy. You could say it’s dirt cheap.
If you know anything about alternative health, selenium is probably a household word to you. You know it as a powerful antioxidant that helps purge your body of harmful, cell-damaging substances.
In his 1994 book Alternatives in Cancer Therapy, author and radio host Ross Pelton labeled selenium as “possibly the most powerful anticancer nutrient there is.” I wouldn’t go that far, but there’s no question every single person reading this should take a selenium supplement or make sure to eat selenium-rich foods.
Just a quick glance at the scientific studies on this element will show why some have come to regard selenium as a powerhouse protector…
Could these successes be just a fluke?
In the book Selenium: One Cancer Answer, nutritionist Chris Barr said the first medical application of selenium was documented by Dr. August von Wasserman.
Dr. Wasserman discovered in 1911 that selenite injected into mouse cancer tumors caused them to decompose.
Four years later, Dr. C.H. Walker and Dr. F. Klein caused small lingual (tongue) tumors in cancer patients to shrink and disappear. And by no means was that the end of the research on selenium’s anti-cancer effects…
Consider some highlights in selenium’s long history as a cancer warrior:
- 1935—study on breast cancer patients treated with selenium published in the British Medical Journal
- 1940—Dr. Emmanuel Revici pioneers the use of organic selenium in cancer patients (selenium derived from plant sources) to reduce possible toxicity associated with inorganic forms
- 1949—Drs. Clayton and Baumann first label selenium as a cancer preventative in the medical journal Cancer Research.
- 1957—Dr. Klaus Schwarz at the National Institutes of Health identifies selenium as an essential nutrient for life.
- 1970—Studies conducted by Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer, M.D., Ph.D. produced a 70 percent reduction in breast cancer by adding trace amounts of selenium to the diet. Schrauzer declared that 200 mcg of daily selenium supplements would dramatically reduce the cancer rate.
- 1980s—Dr. Larry Clark, Ph.D. conducted a long-term, double-blind study using 200 mcg daily of selenium on cancer patients; some 10 years later Dr. Clark reported that — compared to the control group –the supplemented group experienced:
- 63 percent reduction in prostate cancer
- 57 percent reduction in colon cancer
- 48 percent reduction in lung cancer
- 50+ percent reduction in all cancers
- 1990s—A1996 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed how effective selenium can be in preventing cancer. Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona studied 1,300 older persons and found a 42 percent reduction in cancer among those taking 200 mcg of selenium daily for about seven years compared to those given a placebo. What’s more, cancer deaths for those taking selenium were cut almost in half!
- 2000s—A study of over 1000 healthy males published in the May 2004 Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that men with high blood levels of selenium were about half as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as men with lower selenium levels.
And this is just a sample of the positive health results achieved by taking selenium! But don’t think for one minute the medical community jumped for joy at hearing this news…
The typical knee-jerk reaction from
the medical establishment
Remember the amazing cancer reductions JAMA reported from Dr. Clark’s 1980s studies mentioned above? Well, JAMA also published a letter from a medical doctor who criticized the results—simply because Dr. Clark didn’t use a synthetic form of selenium rather than a plant-sourced form!
According to Chris Barr, Dr. Peter Greenwald—then Director of Cancer Prevention for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—downplayed the study results telling reporters “it’s just one study” and “we don’t recommend supplements.”
NCI later decided to institute a large-scale cancer trial with selenium. It is scheduled for completion and publication by 2016. But Barr said he was certain it wouldn’t achieve good results. Why?
Because instead of using a type of selenium derived from whole foods, NCI is using a pharmaceutically prepared variety that is very low in antioxidant power!
The NCI actually chose to abandon the study in 2009—citing no evidence that synthetic selenium reduced cancer. We recommend selenium supplements whose labels say they are derived from plants or yeast, or that say “selenomethionine,” a form of selenium derived from soybeans. According to Barr, sodium selenite and sodium selenate are inferior forms of selenium, not derived from plant sources.
But you’d best believe NCI wasn’t the only mainstream medical institution trying to discredit selenium as a potential cancer killer…
The FDA was forced to admit it goofed!
Some studies claimed to prove that selenium is a dangerous toxin that CAUSES cancer! Could it be true?
Barr discussed the few incidents and summed them up as follows:
- A French cancer study reporting deaths related to selenium use were due to administration of excessive doses.
- A 1937 American study found that 2 milligrams of sodium selenite per kilogram of body weight could be lethal. This too represents an excessive amount. The recommended therapeutic dose of selenium is 200 mcg per day. A microgram is one-thousandth of a milligram. The 2 milligrams cited in the 1937 study is ten times the recommended dose.
- A 1943 Food and Drug Administration study fed rats a sulfide form of selenium which also contained a pesticide. Because the amounts were more than DOUBLE the amount known to be toxic—it’s little wonder the selenium caused liver tumors in the rats! But get this: In 1957 the FDA declared that selenium is an essential life nutrient. What’s more,the FDA came clean and admitted in two official documents that its own 1943 study was flawed!
The bulk of scientific studies demonstrate that boosting selenium intake also boosts your immune system. By the same token, selenium deficiency can leave you wide open to various forms of cancer.
In addition to preventing the onset of disease, selenium can also slow cancer progression and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments!
You can supplement your daily selenium intake but the best form is ingested from whole foods.
Some of the richest food sources of selenium (in alphabetical order) include:
- Brazil nuts (that’s what I eat — very rich in selenium)
- Cod fish
- Eggs (don’t worry about cholesterol; eating eggs doesn’t increase your cholesterol levels)
- Sunflower seeds
So if you want to protect your body from free radical damage—and stop cancer dead in its tracks—get more organic selenium in your diet. It could wind up being one science lesson that saves your life!