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Spice Up Your Life and Fight Cancer with Peppers

3,000 year old medicine rises again in modern science.  UT Southwestern Medical Center has identified a chemical in the Long Pepper (Piper longum), a spicy Indian pepper plant found in Southern India and Southeast Asia.

THE MODERN SCIENCE

  • The chemical is Piperlongumine (PL)
  • PL to hPL after ingestion
  • hPL silences the GSTP1 gene
  • GSTP1 produces a detoxification enzyme found in high quantities in tumors.
  • Applications in prostate, breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, leukemia, primary brain tumors, and gastric cancer
  • X-Ray crystallography was used to determine the molecular structure, the chemical transformation after ingestion, and potential drug targets

THE HISTORY

  • Long Pepper was referred to by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine
  • Linked to Ayurveda – ancient medical system including herbal compounds, minerals, surgical techniques – traced back to 5,000BCE
  • Believed to have healing properties

Findings published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in an article entitled “Structural and Biochemical Analyses Reveal the Mechanism of Glutathione S-Transferase Pi 1 Inhibition by the Anti-Cancer Compound Piperlongumine.”

 

Sources:

UT Southwestern Medical Center

News-Medical

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

 

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