Archive for the ‘Weight loss’ Category

New Study: Capsaicin From Cayenne, Red Chili Peppers Demonstrate Beneficial Weight Loss Mechanism

May 28, 2013


Research Supports Benefits of Phytochemicals,
Nutritional Plant Extracts For Weight Management

Researchers in Korea have published new evidence that
suggests the mechanisms behind why capsaicin may aid
weight loss.

Capsaicin is found in the pulp of chili peppers and is the
compound that gives them their ‘heat’, causing a burning
sensation in any tissue it comes into contact with. However
studies have investigated the compounds potential health
benefits, including helping weight loss, having anti-inflammatory
properties, antioxidant activity, and inhibiting a number of
cancer cells.

Previous laboratory studies have hinted that capsaicin may
help to fight obesity by reducing the amount of calories absorbed
in the gut, reducing fat tissue, speeding up metabolism, and
lowering lipid levels in the blood. However the mechanisms
behind how it might have such a dramatic effect on weight loss
have until now remained a mystery.

Researchers from Daegu University in South Korea, suggest
that capsaicin may cause weight loss and stop fat build up by
stimulating the expression of certain fat degrading proteins,
and down-regulating other proteins that work to synthesize fat.

The study involved feeding laboratory subjects a high fat diet,
with one group also being given a treatment of capsaicin.
The capsaicin-stimulated subjects lost 8 percent body weight
compared to the non capsaicin fed subjects fed on the
same diet.

Importantly the new research also showed that capsaicin fed
subjects showed beneficial changes in expression of over 20
key lipid processing proteins.

The Korean research team also found that glycerol-3-phosphate
dehydrogenase (GPDH) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH)
were significantly down-regulated by capsaicin, resulting in a
reduction in glycolytic activity and less overall fat synthesis.
They explain that the changes in body fat observed “provide
valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the
anti-obesity effects of capsaicin”.

The capsaicin also seemed to have a dramatic effect on levels
of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), a gene that is commonly
over expressed in many fat cells. “In this study, the TNF-a gene
was significantly up-regulated in high fatty diet rats, and their
levels were markedly decreased again with capsaicin treatment.”

The research also found an up regulation of the enzyme NQO1,
leading to the conclusion that capsaicin may stimulate the
enzyme and that it may have a potential use as a therapeutic
target for obesity.  The next steps in finding a way to use
capsaicin as a safe anti-obesity therapy would be to perform
functional study to fully identify the proteins stimulated by
capsaicin.

Obesity is a global public health problem, and is considered an
important risk factor in many diseases, including cardiovascular
and metabolic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Tackling obesity is a priority and the potential for the use of
capsaicin as a component of functional weight loss foods is
growing as the mechanisms behind its effects are better
understood.

Source: Journal of Proteome Research

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