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Anti-Cancer Curry

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 at 11:59 by RJ Barker

It’s long been a maxim in our family that a curry will ‘bring a cold out of you’.  Now it turns out it could actually kill the cancer in you too.  Capsaicin, an ingredient in Jalepeno peppers has been found to have anti-cancer properties.  Capsaicin triggers cancer cell death by attacking the mitochondria within the cancer cell itself.

Researcher, Dr Timothy Bates said: “As these compounds attack the very heart of the tumour cells, we believe that we have in effect discovered a fundamental ‘Achilles heel’ for all cancers”.  The fact that we already eat Capsaicin and other substances of the same family (Vanilloids[1]) means they could be much cheaper than other drugs to produce.

Sadly, the UK’s anti-cancer trusts are still advocating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vegetables[2] as the best way of  preventing the disease rather than fifteen pints and a chicken Vindaloo.  But all this may change.  Soon we could be ordering from ‘Azram’s Balti Bar’ and billing it to the NHS.   The traditional Beer Boy curry house chant of ‘make it a hot one Asif’ could lose it’s racist, look-at-how-bloody-hard-I-am reputation and become the chant of the health conscious.  The Restaurant near my house could add a couple of Dr’s onto its list of reviews.

Although in truth it’s not that simple.  Capsaicin has only been shown to work in laboratory tests on cancer samples, the delivery system still needs to be worked out. Let’s hope it involves Naan bread.


1.    Yes, they do sound like they should be something that appears in a rubber suit in a fifties B-movie to chase a few unsuspecting teens in bikinis.
2.    Oh, this could bode rather badly for me.

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5 Comments on “Anti-Cancer Curry”

  1. Eliza E. Lanyard Says:

    I can just see the film - ‘Revenge of the Vanilloids, They’re back and this time its personal’
    It would be interesting to see how health advice has changed over the years - I’m sure I’ve seen old adverts in which smoking was said to be good for a sore throat…..maybe they meant causing one rather than curing one.

  2. Simon Kimber Says:

    The first page of the takeaway menu from my local curry house proudly lists “5 Healthy Reasons To Eat Curry”

    1. The combination of spices has an antibacterial effect which helps fight infections

    2. The spices are powerful anti-oxidents which fight damaging chemicals, known as free radicals, which can cause cancer.

    3. Turmeric helps insulin metabolise glucose, so may help control diabetes

    4. Curry has an anti-inflamatory effect on the body, so may help relieve inflamed joints in arthritis

    5. It can lower cholesterol and prevent clots.

  3. Sue Stewart Says:

    It may be true, but bear in mind that doctors recommended eating lots of suet - even recommending that you put a spoonful in your porridge - in the 30s to stave off TB.

  4. Jislizard Says:

    Does this mean that no one in India has cancer? or is it just a bunch of scientists trying to make a name for themselves?

    Sulphuric acid will kill tumour cells in laboratory tests! And funnily enough the UK anti-cancer trusts aren’t recommending that either, it’s a conspiracy I tell you!

  5. Dave Allan Says:

    Lard, the cure for Malnutrition. I vaguely remember the poster campaign.
    Does anyone remember when potatoes were thought of as deadly poisonous? I do, but then I do come from a rather backward ex-mining town in Scotland.

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