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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

Capsaicin (a capsaicinoid) is the chemical that puts the zing in chili peppers. Supplements containing capsaicin increase caloric expenditure for several hours and might be useful as a weight-loss supplement. Capsaicin works by increasing levels of the “fight-or-flight” hormone epinephrine (adrenaline), which speeds fat use and increases metabolism. A study on mice by Baskaran Thyagarajan from the University of Wyoming, and colleagues, showed that increasing capsaicin in their diet prevented obesity by increasing energy expenditure and metabolism. Most studies show that capsaicin increases daily caloric expenditure by four to five percent and fat use by 10 to 16 percent. It is not a magic bullet that triggers massive weight loss, but helps promote weight control over time.


(Study presented at Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, February 8, 2015)