Red pepper may help curb a big appetite
A sprinkle of red pepper will burn more than your mouth, according to some new research. It can burn calories.
Purdue University researchers found that a half teaspoon of the spice can be a weight-loss aid, along with other dietary changes and exercise. That’s less than previous studies have shown. Though, the effects were stronger for those who don’t like to eat red pepper.
“We found that consuming red pepper can help manage appetite and burn more calories after a meal, especially for individuals who do not consume the spice regularly,” Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition who collaborated with doctoral student Mary-Jon Ludy, said in a statement.
“This finding should be considered a piece of the puzzle because the idea that one small change will reverse the obesity epidemic is simply not true. However, if a number of small changes are added together, they may be meaningful in terms of weight management.”
It’s the capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their heat, that researchers say can reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure, or burning calories. Unlike past studies, the Purdue researchers found that 1 gram of ordinary dried and ground cayenne red pepper was acceptable to eaters and effective. Capsules don’t work because consumers have to taste the pepper, according to the Purdue study, published in Physiology & Behavior.
The study looked at 13 people who liked spicy food and 12 who didn’t. Those who didn’t consume pepper regularly saw the biggest impact on hunger. This suggests that the pepper losses its efficacy as it becomes familiar. Researchers said more studies will be needed to determine how to prolong effectiveness.