The capsaicin, the spicy ingredient in chili peppers, can reduce the risk of colon cancer, says Medical News Today. Dr. Eyal the compound activates TRPV1 pain receptor in the mice. As a result, it inhibits the growth of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract.
For the first time TRPV1 has been detected in the sensory neurons. It protects the cells from heat damage, increased acidity and chemical compounds from the environment. However, the intestinal epithelial cells, as it has been shown, also are being expressed by TRPV1 in stimulation of the receptor for epidermal growth factor (EGFR). This receptor is essential for the cell growth in the gut.
If the signaling activity of the receptor is being destroyed, the cell growth goes out of control, which increases the risk of cancer. But the impact of the epidermal growth factor reduces the risk of tumor formation. If there is a lack of TRPV1 in the mice, then in them began to appear tumors. In turn, the capsaicin, which is able to activate TRPV1, prolongs the survival of mice by 30%, suppressing the cancer. The effect is enhanced when NSAID celecoxib is being used.