Certain foods, when included in the diet promote weight loss.
Capsaicin, a compound present in chili peppers helps in weight loss and prevention of obesity by regulating various body mechanisms.
Sedentary lifestyle and improper eating habits today have made obesity and weight gain quite common.
Once the body weight increases, it becomes difficult to lose it, and weight loss requires lots of effort.
However, maintaining a healthy weight and desired body shape it is becoming the priority of many individuals.
Weight loss can be achieved by exercising and controlling the eating habits. Foods that cause weight gain should be avoided; while certain foods and compounds which have weight loss potential can be increased in the diet.
One such compound which can help you lose weight is Capsaicin. Let us find out more about this incredible compound and its properties.
What is Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is an active compound found in chili peppers and plants of the Capsicum genus. It is an irritant which when comes in contact with any tissue, produces a burning sensation.
The amount of capsaicin in various kinds of peppers like green chilies, red chilies, capsicum, bell peppers, and jalapeno differs.
The more capsaicin in pepper, the spicier it becomes.
Thus, peppers containing capsaicin are widely used as spices in many cuisines around the world in both fresh and dried forms.
In studies, capsaicin has been known to show anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and anti-microbial properties. Moreover, it helps in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels.
These features show that capsaicin has great potential in treating and preventing various diseases including obesity.
The weight loss potential of capsaicin has also been widely studied, and it is known that capsaicin helps in reducing body weight by many ways.
8 Ways Capsaicin for Helps in Weight Loss
Let us learn the benefits of capsaicin in weight loss.
1. Capsaicin increases metabolism
Capsaicin treatment helps in regulation of certain proteins which play a vital role in the metabolism of lipids in the body.
Thus they help in the treatment of obesity by enabling the breakdown of fats and their utilization for energy production.
It increases the metabolic rate of the body which not only helps in regulation of various proteins and enzymes but also decreases the risk of developing obesity and other related diseases like diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular ailments.
What does this mean? By increasing the metabolic capacity of the body, capsaicin aids in burning more calories and reducing body weight.
2. Capsaicin decreases body fat
Accumulation of fats in the body is the primary cause of weight gain.
Capsaicin helps in decreasing the body fat accumulation and helps in burning the stored fats.
This ability of capsaicin has been studied in animal models where capsaicin consumption led to a decline in serum triglycerides and adipose tissues (fat cells) in the body.
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity on 80 obese persons, it was concluded that capsaicin, along with other compounds like caffeine, tyrosine, and catechins when given as a supplement, helped in reducing the body fat mass, due to their thermogenic effect (heat production by burning fats).
In another study, it was found that administration of 6mg capsaicin per day helped in abdominal fat loss and body weight loss without any adverse effects. This was achieved by the oxidation of fats in the body.
Many people include exercises in their weight loss regimen to burn calories. Capsaicin intake by these individuals gives them an added advantage.
Consumption of capsaicin one hour before exercise decreases lipid levels in the body and helps in treating obesity without any side effects.
What does this mean? Capsaicin regulates lipid levels, burns excess body fats and prevents fat accumulation in the body.
3. Capsaicin lowers glucose levels
When the body receives more glucose than it requires for energy production, it starts storing the excess amount as fats and glycogen in the body for later use.
The enzyme insulin, which regulates the levels of glucose in the body, facilitates this storage.
Capsaicin present in many chilies helps in decreasing plasma glucose levels and controlling the insulin levels.
This means the excess glucose can be taken care of by capsaicin consumption and there will be less storage in the form of fats in the body. With lower levels of insulin, the storage of glucose will also reduce.
This will inhibit weight gain.
What does this mean? Capsaicin helps in maintaining the optimum levels of glucose and insulin in the body which prevents fat storage and helps in weight loss.
4. Capsaicin consumption helps in controlling appetite
Capsaicin consumption leads to the release of satiety hormones in the body, which promotes a feeling of fullness.\ Thus it reduces food intake by decreasing the desire to eat and preventing overeating.
Capsaicin also helps in suppressing the sensations of hunger, which results in lower calorie consumption and helps in weight loss.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was reported that capsaicin consumption helped in weight loss by decreasing energy intake, suppressing hunger and enhancing satiety levels.
In other studies, the effect of red pepper containing capsaicin on appetite was examined, and it was found that capsaicin helped in reducing energy intake by restricting the consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
What does this mean? Consumption of capsaicin has been associated with increased satiety and reduced food intake.
5. Capsaicin increases the energy expenditure in the body
The increase in energy expenditure means more energy is produced and utilized by the body.
The body obtains this energy by burning the stored fats and other nutrients in the body, which then results in weight loss.
Capsaicin has thermogenic properties which mean that it helps in heat production in the body. The body burns calories to produce heat.
Capsaicin itself does not provide any energy on consumption but increases energy expenditure which results in more calorie and fat consumed and subsequent weight loss.
Several studies conducted in humans have proved that the inclusion of capsaicin in the diet causes more energy expenditure facilitated by fat oxidation (metabolism of fats), without any adverse effects.
What does this mean? Capsaicin intake results in more energy production by utilization of stored fats and other nutrients in the body. This promotes weight loss.
6. Capsaicin helps in weight maintenance
After weight loss, many people regain more weight as the body starts to make up for the loss of stored nutrients. \Therefore, some people can lose weight, but it is hard to maintain that weight.
In studies, it has been found that capsaicin aids in weight maintenance by inhibiting weight regain and continuing burning fats even after weight loss.
What does this mean? Capsaicin helps in maintaining the healthy body weight after weight loss.
7. Capsaicin regulates the gut bacteria
Certain bacteria in the gut are responsible for promoting metabolism and preventing obesity.
In studies, it was found that capsaicin can bring about changes in the gut bacteria.
It increases the number of some bacteria which enhance the metabolic capacity of the body, due to which the nutrients are efficiently utilized without getting stored in the body.
Thus it has anti-obesity effects which help in weight loss.
What does this mean? Capsaicin modulates the gut bacteria which promote weight loss by increasing body metabolism.
8. Capsaicin is an excellent anti-obesity agent
TRPV1 is a protein found in humans which acts as a capsaicin receptor and plays a crucial role in regulating body weight, glucose, lipids, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Thus, it is an important target for anti-obesity drugs.
Capsaicin activates this protein and helps in the regulation of abnormal levels of enzymes, proteins, and lipids in the body which result in weight gain.
What does this mean? Capsaicin decreases body weight and helps in prevention of obesity and related health complications.
Dosage of Capsaicin for Weight Loss
There is no specific dosage of capsaicin for weight loss. However, foods containing capsaicin can be included in the diet in moderate amount.
Capsaicin supplements are also available commercially, but one should seek advice from a medical practitioner before taking health supplements.
6g-10g chili peppers can be consumed per meal.
Peppers containing capsaicin can be added to the diet in many ways. They can be used both fresh and dried and can be incorporated in curries, stews, soups, and salads as a spice.
Start with a small dose of capsaicin in the diet and see how your body reacts to it. If there are no other side effects, the dose can be increased depending on what your body can tolerate and how much spicy food you can eat.
Precautions to be taken while consuming Capsaicin
The dried residue of capsaicin can cause sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and throat irritation.
If you are not used to eating spicy food, capsaicin consumption can cause stomach pain, irritation, nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.
In persons having prior digestive problems or stomach ulcers, capsaicin consumption is not recommended as it can worsen the condition.
It can cause indigestion and acid reflux in some individuals.
If you experience skin reddening or digestive issue post capsaicin consumption, it may be possible that you are allergic to it.
Capsaicin causes allergic reactions in some individuals.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and people with other health conditions should consult with a doctor before taking therapeutic doses of capsaicin.
Capsaicin can interfere with the working of several medications used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, pain, and blood clotting.
Capsaicin found in chili peppers has several therapeutic benefits. It helps in weight loss and prevention of obesity in various ways.
It has a thermogenic effect which helps in burning of fats and more energy expenditure.
It increases the metabolic rate and regulates the levels of glucose and lipids in the body. It decreases the appetite and makes one consume less food. It also helps in maintaining the lost weight.
Moreover, it regulates the number of gut microbe which helps in weight loss. Thus, it can be said that capsaicin is very beneficial for weight