Long way to go on chilli cancer-therapy, says Cancer Research UK

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has cautioned that much more research is needed into claims that a substance found in chilli peppers may prove effective against prostate cancer.

The charity was responding to a recent report that capsaicin, the substance which makes chilli peppers hot, was effective against cancer cells. A US report claimed that exposure to capsaicin killed 80 per cent of cancer cells in laboratory testing.

"This research does not suggest that eating vast quantities can prevent or treat prostate cancer," said Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK.

"Although these experiments suggest that pepper extracts can help treat cancer in animals, much more work needs to be done before capsaicin can be used as a treatment for humans with prostate cancer.

"In fact, eating too many hot chillies can lead to stomach cancer. A low-fat diet rich in fruit and veg - including the occasional chilli - can help to reduce the risk of cancer."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with 30,100 new cases being discovered every year.

Find out about the links between diet and cancer risk