Adding capsaicin from chili peppers to a diet may just help to prevent weight gain, claim scientists from the University of Wyoming. Mice studies have shown promising results in the potential of capsaicin as a diet-based supplement.
Researchers will soon describe how dietary capsaicin may stimulate thermogenesis and energy burning by activating its receptors, which are expressed in white and brown fat cells. This finding may help to prevent and manage obesity and other related health complications such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
Researcher from the laboratory of Dr. Baskaran Thyagarajan, Vivek Krishnan explained, "Obesity is caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and energy dissipation. In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic (heat produced by burning fat) machinery to burn stored fat. Eating calorie-rich food and a lack of physical activity cause an imbalance in metabolism that leads to obesity. While pursuing a strategy for obesity management, our laboratory data revealed that dietary capsaicin, a chief 'agonist' of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel protein, suppresses high-fat-diet-induced obesity."
It was seen that 0.01 percent of capsaicin in the total high fat diet prevented high-fat-diet-induced weight gain in trials with wild type mice, but not in mice that genetically lacked TRPV1. The researchers said, "Developing a natural dietary supplement as a strategy to combat obesity can be easily advanced to human clinical trials."