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Spicy compound from chili peppers may slow lung cancer spread

The Kashmir Monitor

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A compound that makes chili peppers spicy may help curb lung cancer spread, according to a study that may pave the way for a novel treatment against the deadly disease. Most cancer-related deaths occur when cancer spreads to distant sites, a process called metastasis.

“Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasize to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat,” said Jamie Friedman, a doctoral candidate who performed the research at Marshall University in the US.

“Our study suggests that the natural compound capsaicin from chili peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients,” Friedman said in a statement.

 

In experiments involving three lines of cultured human non-small cell lung cancer cells, the researchers observed that capsaicin inhibited invasion, the first step of the metastatic process. They also found that mice with metastatic cancer that consumed capsaicin showed smaller areas of metastatic cancer cells in the lung compared to mice not receiving the treatment.

Additional experiments revealed that capsaicin suppresses lung cancer metastasis by inhibiting activation of the protein Src. This protein plays a role in the signaling that controls cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, motility and adhesion.

“We hope that one day capsaicin can be used in combination with other chemotherapeutics to treat a variety of lung cancers,” said Friedman.

“However, using capsaicin clinically will require overcoming its unpleasant side effects, which include gastrointestinal irritation, stomach cramps and a burning sensation,” he said.

The researchers are working to identify capsaicin analogues that will be non-pungent while retaining the anti-tumour activity of capsaicin. They are also trying to identify natural non-pungent capsaicin-like compounds with anti-cancer activity.


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Health

5 natural ways to fight non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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According to the WHO, liver disease is the 10th most common cause of deaths in India. Gone are the days when liver disease was only associated with the consumption of alcohol. With the increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, which leads to hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis, is an emerging problem. More than a million new patients are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year globally, and the major causes for it are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatitis B and C. Epidemiologic studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD in nine per cent to 32 per cent of the general population in India. Dr Palaniyamma D., Medical Advisor, The Himalaya Drug Company, says people who are overweight or obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of NAFLD. The prevalence is especially common in those who eat highly processed food. The five best foods to be included in the diet to regulate this condition are:

Greens: Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and sprouts help in general weight loss by preventing fat build-up in the liver.

Oatmeal: Oats are packed with dietary fibre and help a person feel full for a longer period, thus serving as a filling breakfast or snack and increasing the body’s energy levels.

 

Sunflower Seeds: These seeds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps protect the liver from further damage, and are a healthy snack for munching in between meals.

Garlic: This popular flavour-enhancing ingredient helps burn extra fat, which in turn helps in reducing weight.

Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acid, fish is an excellent food that improves liver function and reduces inflammation.

If NAFLD is detected and managed at an early stage, it is possible to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and prevent the condition from worsening.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step towards managing NAFLD. Reducing weight, eating healthy, exercising moderately, and avoiding alcohol can reduce the risk of NAFLD. Consuming alcohol does not cause NAFLD, but it can worsen the condition.

Medicines can be useful in managing the symptoms associated with this condition. Using medications that have natural ingredients can restore the functional efficiency of the liver. Formulations containing natural ingredients such as The Caper Bush (Himsra) and Chicory (Kasani) improve the functional efficiency of the liver, protect the liver structure, boost liver health, and remove toxins from the body.

The liver carries out various functions that are critical for good health. It helps break down food, purify blood, build proteins, remove harmful substances, balance hormones, and store energy. Hence, it is advisable to consume a healthy diet and supplements containing herbal ingredients that help the liver metabolise foods, eliminate waste, and balance hormones.

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Health

Diet to help you fight symptoms of skin allergies

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Adopt these guidelines manage your allergies: From consuming at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily to practising stress relaxation techniques or meditating.

Skin allergies are common and are characterised by red skin rashes or bumps. Some are caused by allergens induced by exposure to foods, medications, and insect stings, but the large majority of cases are not specific to any cause. Adopt these guidelines to fight symptoms and manage your allergies.

  1. Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which act as barriers to harmful things, as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out, and for waste products to get in and out of the cell. The best-known essential fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega-6, most of us lack omega-3s. Some good sources are fish, walnut, and flaxseed oil. Consume at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily. You could sprinkle it on your salad after roasting it.
  2. Vitamin C has been shown to decrease production of histamine, reducing immediate allergy potential. Vitamin C helps relieve allergic symptoms and prevent inflammatory reactions by providing an anti-histamine-like effect.
  3. As tension and stress usually make allergies worse, practice stress relaxation techniques or meditate.
  4. People who are prone to allergies must look carefully at their intake of foods such as berries, raisins, prunes, nuts, seeds, shellfish, soybean and gluten. The right detoxification programme and correction of any liver problems can be extremely helpful for such individuals.
  5. It is important to remember that what you eat reflects on your skin. Your skin requires the right kind of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. When we improve our diet, these nutrients take time to reach the skin.
  6. So, once you bring about the required alterations in your diet or go on a restricted elimination diet, don’t expect a miracle. In addition to the diet and vitamins, you may need your physician’s help, to check if you have any severe infection or a specific allergy.

 
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Health

4 Surprising Pre-Workout Foods

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We all have our go-to pre-race foods, from a simple bowl of oatmeal to a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But those meals can be a little too filling right before boot camp. That’s where these surprising foods and drinks can help when you’re pressed for time. Read on to find out which foods you should eat to ensure an all-star workout at the gym.

Watermelon Juice

Forget Gatorade—researchers suspect that an amino acid called L-citrulline found in watermelon can provide relief to sore muscles after an intense workout. A study published earlier this year found that athletes reported less muscle soreness on days they drank watermelon juice. The same has been found of drinking cherry juice, which contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Some runners take salt tabs when running in the heat to prevent muscle cramping, but salty food works too, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Researchers found that men who ate chicken noodle soup containing 1,362 milligrams of sodium before cycling in the heat retained more water and thus stayed hydrated during their workout. But note: The average recommended sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams per day.

Coffee

That afternoon cup of joe may not be such a bad idea, especially if you plan on hitting the gym after work. A 1992 study published in the British Journal of Sports Science found that runners who drank a small amount of coffee before running 1,500 meters on the treadmill ran 4.2 seconds faster than those who took a placebo. The coffee drinkers also experienced enhanced oxygen intake.

Watercress

The leafy green that’s often just used as a garnish has some surprising muscle relief powers, too. The antioxidant-rich watercress has been proven to prevent DNA damage caused by high-intensity exercise. A British Journal of Nutrition study also found that eating watercress two hours before a workout provides the same benefits as consuming it for eight weeks.

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