ASU study shows 1st promising links between active ingredient capsaicinoids and an individual’s energy-burning ability
For scorching taste buds, nothing beats the zing of a chili pepper.
Now, a new Arizona State University research study has shown that chili peppers may also be a key ingredient to melting the pounds away and reducing one’s appetite.
The ASU research team, led by scientists Yue Deng and Fang Chen at the Biodesign Institute, has shown the first promising links between capsaicinoids (the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their sweat-inducing hotness) and an individual’s energy-burning ability.
“The innovation of the study is to validate the effectiveness of capsaicinoids during the first real-time tracking of an individual’s metabolism,” said study first author Deng, a postdoctoral research associate in the Biodesign Center for Biosensors and Bioelectronics, who completed the work for her doctoral dissertation in 2016. “It is important to measure the metabolism change with intake of the capsaicinoids, which is the most straightforward way to tell people this actually works or not.”
Capsaicinoids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, have been used as a natural remedy to rub on sore joints, and as antioxidants that may help deter aging or even cancer. Several research groups have been investigating their potential benefits as part of a weight-management program.
In the ASU pilot study, 40 people (average age of 28) were given either a placebo or 2 milligrams of a capsaicinoid supplement per day. Each person took the test twice, either with the supplement or a placebo. Researchers then looked at the effect of capsaicinoids on an individual’s energy-expenditure ability (metabolic rate), as well as heart rates.
The participants were limited to healthy individuals who were not pregnant and did not use vitamins, other supplements or medications that may be the result of chronic conditions.