Past studies have suggested that capsaicin (an active component of chili peppers) may cause cancer. But in a new evidence by scientists, it was observed that the spicy compound in ginger, 6-gingerol, could counter the harmful effects of capsaicin.
Researchers at the American Chemical Society, Washington DC, USA found out that eating chilli and ginger together could help prevent cancer. The compounds in ginger and chilli – capsaicin and 6-gingerol – bind to the same receptor on cells.
They fed mice prone to lung cancer either capsaicin or 6-gingerol, or a combination of the two compounds. Mice fed with just capsaicin alone developed lung tumours, while those fed with 6-gingerol also had the disease.
Interestingly, a large part of mice fed with both capsaicin and 6-gingerol didn’t develop lung cancer. Scientists are, however, optimistic that future studies will focus more on how exactly the compounds interact to help reduce cancer risk.