Some studies have shown that peppers can have benefits, others suggest that diets rich in capsaicin might be associated with stomach cancer. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, might cause cancer. Ginger, however, has shown promise as a health-promoting ingredient. Oddly enough, capsaicin and 6-gingerol both bind to the same cellular receptor, one that is related to tumor growth. However, in combination with the capsaicin, 6-gingerol could lower the risk of cancer, which has been studied in experiments on mouse.
The researchers fed mice prone to lung cancer either capsaicin or 6-gingerol alone, or a combination of both. During the study period, all of the mice that received only capsaicin developed lung carcinomas while only half of the mice fed 6-gingerol did. Surprisingly, an even lower percentage (only 20 percent) of the mice given both compounds developed cancer. The researchers also dug into the potential molecular underpinnings of how the compounds interact to lead to this effect.