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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-58

Capsaicin: A novel chemopreventive molecule and its underlying molecular mechanisms of action


Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A A Oyagbemi
Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.58860

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Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the a principal pungent ingredient of hot red and chili peppers that belong to the plant genus Capsicum (Solanaceae). Capsaicin is a cancer-suppressing agent. It blocks the translocation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), activator protein 1 (AP-1), and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT3) signaling pathway that are required for carcinogenesis. The anti-inflammatory potential of capsaicin is attributed to its inhibitory effect on inducible COX-2 mRNA expression. Cytochrome P4502E1 mediates the activation of xenobiotics such as vinyl carbamate and dimethyl nitrosamine to their toxic metabolites. This metabolic activation of xenobiotics by Cytochrome P4502E1 has been shown to be inhibited by capsaicin. Capsaicin also generates reactive oxygen species in cells with resultant induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, which is beneficial for cancer chemoprevention. Therefore, the use of capsaicin as a chemopreventive agent is of immense benefit for cancer chemoprevention. The search strategy included printed journals, pubmed, and medline, using the terms 'capsaicin' and 'anticancer' citations, relevant to anticancer properties of capsaicin.






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