New research has shown how chili peppers and ginger combine to create a compound that fights cancer.
The finding, from the American Chemical Society, builds on previous studies that suggested a property in chili peppers (capsaicin) fuels tumor growth.
However, according to the new research, capsaicin can be turned into a cancer-fighting property when combined with ginger’s pungent compound 6-gingergol.
Ginger has long been touted as a health food, recommended to patients for everything from a cold to a severe disease as it stimulates anti-inflammatory cells.
And this study found that when 6-gingergol binds to capsaicin it forms a super-strong compound that inhibits key tumour-growing receptors.
Over several weeks, the ACS researchers fed mice prone to lung cancer either capsaicin or 6-gingerol alone, or a combination of both.
During the study period, all of the mice that received only capsaicin developed lung carcinomas while only half of the mice fed 6-gingerol did.
Surprisingly, an even lower percentage – only 20 per cent – of the mice given both compounds developed cancer.
The researchers also dug into the potential molecular underpinnings of how the compounds interact to lead to this effect.
Lead authors Jiahuan Li, Gangjun Du and colleagues wanted to further investigate this apparent contradiction.
*Adapted from DailyMailUK Online on Facebook