• The Fiery Foods and Barbecue Supersite
  • Recipe of the Day
  • All About Chiles
  • BBQ, Grilling & Smoking
  • Burn Blog
  • Videos
  • PodCast
  • Fiery Foods & BBQ Show
  • Scovie Awards
 Login / Logout






Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> Capsaicin

A study in the journal Cancer Research appears to link capsaicin, a component of chili peppers, to skin cancer. This is a misinterpretation of the data, according to SuperSite Publisher Dave DeWitt, international authority on chili peppers and author of more than forty books about peppers, including The Healing Powers of Peppers. The study was focused specifically on the topical application of capsaicin, not on chili peppers as food. To quote the study itself, “capsaicin alone does not act as a carcinogen.”

Toxic Chemicals Caused Tumors, Not Capsaicin

Researchers at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, treated the skin of mice with a mixture of TPA and DMBA, two powerful and highly toxic tumor-producing chemicals. The mice were virtually guaranteed to develop skin cancer. Some were treated with a mixture of the chemicals plus capsaicin, and some were treated with capsaicin only.

While study results indicated that combining capsaicin with the chemicals “might promote cancer cell survival,” the report clearly stated that the control group of mice treated only with capsaicin “…did not induce any skin tumors…” In addition, the study repeatedly cited other research studies in which the anti-cancer properties of capsaicin were solidly demonstrated. A link to the full article can be found here.


Red Chile Sauce, photo by Wes NamanI never imagined that a single red chile enchilada could burn me out. After all, I've been eating New Mexican red chile enchiladas for 35 years, and although some red chile sauces are hotter than others, they usually run medium-hot at the hottest. But yesterday, Lois (the SuperSite editor and art director) and I had a business lunch at Abuelita's Restaurant at 6083 Isleta Boulevard in Albuquerque's South Valley, about three miles from my house. Fall was in the air, so I had a bowl of green chile stew plus a red chile enchilada a la carte. The stew was tasty and medium in heat. But it took me ten minutes to finish that single enchilada. It was just killer hot and I had to wait between bites for capsaicin dispersal. I called the server over and asked her if the chef had put habaneros in the red chile. Nope, she replied, it was just that last year's dried red chile crop they purchased was unusually hot. It was a perfect storm of the right combination of capsaicin genes colliding with some stress on those particular plants that produced an abnormally high amount of capsaicin. And I tried to wolf down that enchilada only to find that I had to treat it with extreme respect.


Chile TreeChile peppers are hot, and we love them for it! From mild bell peppers to the insanely hot Bhut Jolokia, peppers can have an incredible heat range. But have you ever wondered why our favorite chile peppers are so hot? Join an American ecologist, his weary team of graduate assistants and scientists, and a curious journalist as they trek through the jungles and deserts of Bolivia in search of the answer.

Read the article from the Smithsonian Magazine by clicking here!


 

Chile Pepper HeartGood news for chile lovers: A recent study has found that long-term consumption of chile peppers may help lower blood pressure. Capsaicin is the compound in chile peppers that gives them their spicy kick; along with its heat properties, the compound works to relax muscles, including blood vessels.  The new study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, is the first to examine long-term effects of capsaicin consumption in mice. Researchers found that long-term consumption increased the production of nitric oxide, which is known to protect blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction. Many other health benefits are already attributed to chile peppers, such as reducing inflammation, headaches, and arthritis pain. Researchers of this most recent study concluded that further analysis should be done on humans to determine the full benefits of capsaicin. In the meantime, be sure to eat plenty of salsa!

Source:

Cell Metabolism: Activation of TRPV1 by Dietary Capsaicin Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasorelaxation and Prevents Hypertension


 

Hatch ChilesIt’s that time of year here in New Mexico—the air will soon be ripe with the fragrant scent of roasting Hatch green chiles; mouths will water, and tongues will burn. The 2010 Hatch chile season was off to a rough start this year as the New Mexico harvest was delayed due to weather, but this week, chileheads across the country can start salivating as stores put up “Coming Soon” signs for the popular crop.

A message blares on the homepage of Hatch-Chile Express, “Praise God, the 2010 chile season has begun!” The company, along with other producers in the Hatch valley area, is gearing up to begin shipping Hatch chiles this week. The harvest is a quick affair, lasting several weeks from late July to early September. Known for their distinctive taste and quality, the chiles are grown in the Hatch valley in southern New Mexico. Widely held to be the crème-de-la-crème of the chile harvest, Hatch chiles are perfect for roasting and freezing for later. New Mexicans are known for buying 25-100 lb. bags to satisfy their taste buds throughout the year.

Roasting Hatch ChilesIf you’re located outside of New Mexico, you might have to wait a week or two for shipments to start appearing in local markets, but as many foodies know, the wait is worth it. Keep your eyes—and noses—peeled for this spicy favorite; they’re guaranteed to go fast!

Can’t get enough Hatch? Check out the Hatch Chile Festival this September!


Capsaicin Keeps Rats Skinny

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: science , Capsaicin

RatKorean researchers fed five-week-old rats high-fat diets. Some got a daily oral injection of capsaicin, the fiery chemical in chile peppers, or just a control (the liquid that had been used to dilute the capsaicin). Throughout the course of the experiment, the rats getting capsaicin gained 8 percent less weight than untreated animals, and just a little more weight than rats eating a normal diet.

The capsaicin-treated rats also developed less body fat and accumulated smaller fat droplets within fat cells. The researchers noted “that capsaicin can have a significant inhibitory effect against fat accumulation.” But what's really significant in the research is the identification of which genes are selectively affected by consumption of dietary fat or by capsaicin.

They found, for instance, that a high fat diet up-regulated genes producing 17 proteins, including heat shock protein and preoxiredoxin. Some 10 of which were normalized or almost returned to normal in the animals treated with capsaicin. Some of the proteins altered by capsaicin treatment have been linked to obesity — or its prevention — before. Others appear to be newly identified players. A report of the new findings appears in the June 4, 2010 Journal of Proteome Research.

In total, the new findings suggest there may be dietary routes to slowing or even reversing obesity and related diseases through the use of pungent chemicals like capsaicin.

 


James BeckIt's "Fiery Foods Show or Bust" as James Beck and his cohorts drive the Spicy RV from Houston to Albuquerque.  Spicy RV’s first Friday night we descended upon Chunky’s Burgers in San Antonio, Texas. It would be safe to say Chunky’s was catapulted to national fame when Adam Richman from The Travel Channel’s Man vs Food took up the Four Horsemen challenge. James Beck of EatMoreHeat had to throw his hat into the ring and see what this burger was all about.


The Four Horsemen burger is ludicrous....

The story continues here.


Distasteful Solutions to Gnawing Problems

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: science , Capsaicin

Destructive pets chew all kinds of objects.

You gotta love a company that names its most popular product Repela.TM According the the company’s website, this is “a combination of denatonium benzoate and natural capsaicin. Denatonium benzoate is a compound that is extremely bitter–so bitter in fact, that just a few grains put into a glass of water would make if absolutely undrinkable by a human or an animal. Add to this a highly concentrated extract of the hottest peppers in the world, and you have a product that animals cannot endure chewing.” The site is interesting because many of the natural ingredients upon which Aversion’s products are based are described in detail, including traditional holistic applications.

 

Destructive pets chew all kinds of objects.

 


chemical makeup of cocaine

Twenty-six cases of people in the 1990s who died unexpectedly while in police custody after being doused with pepper spray might be explained by a toxic reaction caused by capsaicin in the spray. It seems that pepper spray intensifies the effect of cocaine and other psychostimulants, resulting in death. All the victims had either cocaine or another psychostimulant in their bloodstreams. Laboratory tests on mice support the evidence that mixing capsaicin and cocaine makes for a very bad high. Read more here.

 


<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Copyright© 1997-2014, Sunbelt Shows, Inc.
No portion of this site may be reproduced in any medium
without the written permission of the copyright holder.