Supplement good for your health

The phytochemical capsaicin is the substance found in chili peppers that contributes to the hot and spicy flavor of the chili pepper.

This miraculous compound has the unique capacity to promote a wide range of positive effects on human health, including reduced body fat, powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and improved cardiovascular health.

In fact, a recent epidemiological study investigating almost half a million people showed that the habitual consumption of chili-rich foods, loaded with capsaicin, reduced the likelihood of death from certain chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, relative to those who did not consume chili-rich, spicy foods.1

In addition to capsaicin activating the TRPV1 receptor in certain neurons found within the gastrointestinal tract, triggering a process known as thermogenesis that burns body fat, capsaicin also produces many additional health benefits by activating the same TRPV1 receptor, yet in other tissues throughout the body.

One of the more influential TRPV1-dependent effects from capsaicin intake is the activation of TRPV1-expressing neurons within the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract, which ultimately increases the amount of energy expenditure in brown adipose tissue (BAT) by a process known as thermogenesis.2

Although the mechanism of action is not completely understood, some of the details include capsaicin activation of the TRPV1 receptor within the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract, which triggers the release of noradrenaline.

The release of noradrenaline then stimulates the process of thermogenic fatty acid oxidation within BAT, which has the unique capacity of uncoupling the normally linked process of fatty acid oxidation with cellular energy production in the form of ATP. Consequently, the energy is instead directly converted into heat, which effectively increases energy expenditure.

Related: Which Diet is the Best for Fat Loss? There May Be More Than One

Several studies looking at the impact of capsaicin on metabolic rate have shown that capsaicin does enhance energy expenditure while boosting fat oxidation, promoting significant weight loss.3,4

It has also been shown that the positive influence of capsaicin on thermogenesis is greatest in those people with the most BAT5, and there is some evidence indicating that sustained intake of capsaicin can increase BAT levels in humans6 — meaning that long-term capsaicin intake could boost BAT levels, improving the capacity to thermogenically burn body fat.

CURB YOUR APPETITE

The consumption of capsaicin can also reduce appetite and food intake2, further supporting the ability to lose weight— and, perhaps more importantly, keep it off for good. Although the appetite-suppressing effect of capsaicin has been observed in several trials, it is not entirely understood how capsaicin reduces appetite.

That said, some details have been uncovered with the release of noradrenaline triggered by capsaicin, as previously mentioned, appearing to contribute to the reduction in appetite— as the stimulation of the noradrenaline receptors in the brain has been shown to produce feelings of satiety.7

Related: Why Am I Always Hungry? The Foods That Keep You Full Longer

In addition, capsaicin intake has also been shown to cause an increase in the gut-derived hormone GLP-1, which turns on regions of the brain that diminish food intake by reducing hunger.8

Moreover, this effect appears to be TRPV1-dependent, as the hunger-reducing impact of capsaicin was absent in mice that were genetically altered so they could not produce the TRPV1 receptor in gastrointestinal cells.

Overall, studies have shown that the consumption of capsaicin does decrease hunger3, as capsaicin-treated subjects typically report a reduced desire to eat while also achieving greater satiety after meals.