Hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin that not only adds spice to our foods but may actually help us lose weight. A new study conducted by UCLA researchers found that a substance in hot peppers called capsaicin can actually increase our energy expenditure by increasing heat production.
If you don't appreciate the "burn" of hot peppers, researchers say there are plants that make a non-burning version of capsaicin called dihydrocapsiate (DCT) that could have the benefits of peppers without the pungency.
The study was presented earlier this week at the Experimental Biology 2010 meeting in Anaheim, CA
The UCLA team set out to document capsaicin's ability to increase heat production in human subjects consuming a weight-loss diet. They recruited 34 men and women who were willing to consume a very low-calorie liquid meal replacement product for 28 days. The researchers then randomized the subjects to take either placebo pills or supplements containing the non-burning DCT pepper analog.
Two dosage levels of DCT were tested. At the beginning and end of the study, body weight and body fat were assessed, and the researchers determined energy expenditure (heat production) in each subject after he or she consumed one serving of the test meal.
The results show that, at least for several hours after the test meal was consumed, energy expenditure was significantly increased in the group consuming the highest amount of DCT. In fact, it was almost double that of the placebo group. This suggests that eating this pepper-derived substance that doesn't burn can have the same potential benefit as hot peppers at least in part by increasing food-induced heat production.
Results also showed that DCT significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel. This may help people lose weight when they consume a low-calorie diet by increasing metabolism.
The team says the study does have some limitations. It only looked at the effect of DCT on the thermic response to a single meal, and there might be a different effect in lean vs. obese subjects. While more research needs to be done, researchers say the bottom line is, don't be afraid to pile on the peppers.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- What Lies Beneath West Antarctica?
- The Genetic History Of Ice Age Europe
- Exodus 2100: Due To Climate Change
- New Interpretation Of The Rök Runestone Inscription Changes View Of Viking Age
- Professor Frenkel: Why Shouldn't We Drop Algebra From Our Education System?
- Race And Racism 101 Lecture 1 Intro & Terminology
- Three Earth-sized Planets Found Orbiting A Tiny Nearby Star
- "Your grasping at straws. You are the one trying to prove that climate scientists can't make accurate..."
- "1. There was no 20 year hiatus. Global warming has continued unabated for the last 20 years. Starting..."
- " And the twenty year hiatus in warming was captured by those predictions? NOT! Esplain that one..."
- "Something we don't pay much attention to is that Syria, Libya, and Iraq populations have gone up..."
- Maintaining ‘Biggest Loser’ Success is Harder than Attaining It
- Early Retirees Might Want to Think Again
- Got the Gout, Ebenezer? Why It Remains a Subject of Ridicule
- 3 Reasons Aerial Pesticides Are Not Causing Autism
- Most Stores Refuse E-Cigarette Sales to Minors
- Vitamin C Conundrum for the Organic Crowd
- UC San Diego bioengineers create first online search engine for functional genomics data
- UK Health Check has only modest impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease
- Adult brain prunes branched connections of new neurons
- Five new breast cancer genes and range of mutations pave way for personalized treatment
- Quantum sensors for high-precision magnetometry of superconductors