This goes out to those who don't believe in compromising with good food at all. Now, eat your heart out without worrying about putting on those extra kilos. If you love chillies and like your meals hot and spicy, we have a piece of good news for you. A group of researchers - including an Indian origin scientist - have discovered that chilli peppers have a certain compound that can help in cutting fat. Capsaicin, found in capsicum and chilli peppers is believed to stimulate energy burning. For those of you who can't stand the spice, experts suggest that capsaicin can be used to develop a dietary supplement that can aid in combating the adverse effects of a high-fat diet.
"Obesity is caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and energy dissipation," said Vivek Krishnan, a graduate student from the University of Wyoming, United States.
"Our group's laboratory data revealed that dietary capsaicin suppresses high-fat-diet-induced obesity," explained Vivek Krishnan,
Researchers from the laboratory of Dr Baskaran Thyagarajan carried out experiments on mice modules. It was found that dietary capsaicin prevented high-fat-diet-induced weight gain in trials with wild type mice. Dietary capsaicin didn't modify food or water intake in these mice, although it did significantly increase the metabolic activity and energy expenditure in wild type mice fed a high-fat diet, but not for mice that genetically lack TRPV1, Krishnan noted.
How does capsaicin work?
"In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic (heat produced by burning fat) machinery to burn stored fat. Eating calorie-rich food and a lack of physical activity cause an imbalance in metabolism that leads to obesity," Krishnan explained.
In simple words, dietary capsaicin may induce browning of white fat cells and stimulate thermogenesis to counteract obesity. Developing a natural dietary supplement as a strategy to combat obesity can be easily advanced to human clinical trials. This may help to prevent and manage obesity and other related health complications such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases - though this effect has not yet been demonstrated in carefully-controlled clinical trials.
"We envision a nanoparticle-based sustained-release formulation of capsaicin, which is currently under development in our laboratory," the researchers added.
"In turn, this will advance a novel dietary supplement-based approach to prevent and treat one of the life-threatening diseases, obesity and its associated complications -- in humans," they noted.
These findings were presented at Biophysical Society's 59th annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.
Inputs from PTI and IANS