The Indian long pepper, widely popular for spicing up food, may soon be used as a potential cancer treatment drug, according to a new study.
The Indian long pepper contains a chemical that could stop your body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumours in large numbers.
UT Southwestern Medical Enter scientists have uncovered the chemical process behind anti-cancer properties of a spicy Indian pepper plant called the long pepper, whose suspected medicinal properties date back thousands of years.
The secret lies in a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL), which has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, leukaemia, primary brain tumours and gastric cancer.
PL converts to hPL, an active drug that silences a gene called GSTP1.
The GSTP1 gene produces a detoxification enzyme that is often overly abundant in tumours.