Hot Pepper Capsaicinoids Stimulate Lipolysis without Affecting Heart Rate

October 15, 2010

Capsaicinoids, the active compounds in hot chili peppers, have shown an ability to encourage lipolysis while not affecting heart health factors, according to new research published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.

Capsaicinoids, the active compounds in hot chili peppers, have shown an ability to encourage lipolysis while not affecting heart health factors, according to new research published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.

At the University of Memphis, researchers tested the effect of a capsaicin supplement with 2 mg of capsaicinoids versus placebo in 20 healthy adults. A crossover design was used as subjects switched treatments after one week of washout.

The supplement was Capsimax by OmniActive Health Technologies (Short Hills, NJ), which also funded the study. (The authors claimed no financial interest in the company.)

Before and after acute exercise, blood samples were collected. Researchers checked for increases in heart rate (as measured by norepinephrine and epinephrine) and increases in "lipolysis" or fat breakdown (as measured by glycerol and free fatty acid increases).

While none of the heart factors were changed by placebo or treatment, glycerol and free fatty acids did increase "at selected times, post-ingestion" with capsaicinoids.

The results reinforce previous science supporting capsaicin's ability to stimulate lipolysis. Furthermore, the study supports the idea that capsaicinoids have no ill effects on blood pressure. (The scientists note that "no human studies have included the measurements of blood epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations following capsaicinoid intake.")

Weight regain was also not seen as statistically different in either treatment group.

"We are pleased to be adding to findings of an earlier study where Capsimax Plus Blend supplementation, combined with exercise, showed higher levels of calories burned," said Jayant Deshpande, PhD, chief technology officer for OmniActive Health Technologies. "Both studies revealed positive results for these key components to successful weight management.”

To view the full study, click here.