Capsaicin molecule

Capsaicin molecule

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Capsaicin, computer model. Atoms are represented as rods and are colour-coded: carbon (green), hydrogen (white), oxygen (red) and nitrogen (blue). This chemical gives chilies their heat and causes a burning sensation when ingested. It is a secondary metabolite of the chili plant (Capsicum sp.) and probably evolved to deter herbivores. As of 2006, capsaicin is being investigated as a potential treatment for prostate cancer, as it has been shown to promote prostate tumour cell death in culture. The increased consumption of chilies is not recommended as a preventative measure against prostate cancer because capsaicin has been linked with stomach cancer.

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Keywords: artwork, biochemistry, capsaicin, capsicum, chemical, chemistry, chili pepper, chilies, compound, compounds, computer artwork, computer model, food, heat, hot, illustration, molecular, molecular model, molecule, molecules, one, rod, rods, single, spice, spicy, structure

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