Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer. No good therapy exists at this time for prostate cancer recurrence. This study is of the ability of capsaicin, found in red peppers (Capsicum spp.,) to alter prostate cancer cell growth. Capsaicin is a pungent homovanillic acid derivative which reduces the growth of leukemia, gastric and liver cancer cells.
PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is a measure of the androgen-responsiveness of prostate cancer cells. The PSA is commonly used as a blood test for prostate cancer.
Capsaicin was found in the present study to inhibit growth of cells from prostate cancer, both in the test tube and in living mice. It works against both androgen-receptor positive and negative cells. It reduces PSA levels and induces apoptosis (natural cell suicide of abnormal cells) of prostate cancer cells.
Capsaicin inhibits proteasome activity. (Proteasomes produce proteins which promote the growth of cancers.) Inhibition of proteasome activity may interfere with androgen receptor (AR) activity to further interfere with cancer growth.
CONCLUSION: “… capsaicin may have a role in the management of prostate cancer, even for those who are refractory to hormone therapy.” A clinical trial of capsaicin is indicated for patients with prostate cancer.
NOTE: Capsaicin cream is currently used as a topical treatment for pain. It is used for the pain of herpes zoster.
Read more about the effect of capsaicin related chemicals on body fat.
Homovanillic acid (HVA,) the origin of capsaicin, is a metabolite of catecholamine neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine from the adrenal gland) which are produced from tyrosine and phenylalanine. HVA is associated with dopamine levels in the brain.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.