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Top Weight Management Ingredients for Supplements, Functional Foods

<p>Research continues to expand on ingredients for use in both supplements and functional foods, offering manufacturers myriad options when formulating products to help consumers manage weight.</p>

Research continues to expand on ingredients for use in both supplements and functional foods, offering manufacturers myriad options when formulating products to help consumers manage weight.

Capsaicinoids, components of chili peppers, have been known to aid weight loss by stimulating energy expenditure through thermogenesis, or the production of heat in the body.1 A 2013 study reported ingestion of 9 mg/d of capsinoids (nonpungent capsaicin analogs) for six weeks increased cold-induced increments of energy expenditure in subjects with “metabolically active BAT."2 Researchers examined the effects of stimulation by cold and capsinoids in human subjects with low BAT activity. The results indicated capsinoids activate BAT and increase energy output, which may help decrease body fat.

In a similar fashion, dihydrocapsiate, which also comes from the capsinoid family, is found naturally in non-pungent sweet peppers. Dihydrocapsiate is 1,000-times less pungent than capsaicin, according to Jeremy Bartos, scientific and regulatory affairs manager, Glanbia Nutritionals (producer of CapsiAtra™ dihydrocapsiate). This means consumption will not lead to burning in the mouth or throat, and it will not cause indigestion issues. Like capsaicin, dihydrocapsiate can help boost metabolism, leading to an increase in fat burning. One study showed a month of supplementation with either 3 mg/d or 9 mg/d doses of dihydrocapsiate had a thermogenic effect of about 50 kcal/d.3

The potent antioxidant indicaxanthin, an active ingredient derived from cactus fruit, can also help consumers reach a desired body shape by resolving symptoms related to water retention-induced obesity, according to a company-conducted study on Nexira’s Cacti-Nea indicaxanthin ingredient. In the study, 15 female subjects with BMIs of 23 to 26 took a 2-g/d dose of Cacti-Nea for one week. At the end of the trial, women with BMIs less than 25 experienced a 27-percent increase in urine production (diuresis), which helped reduce swelling in the legs and torso. For consumers desiring to lose water weight as a part of their weight-loss goals, this superfruit ingredient may pique their interest, as 80 percent of the study participants acknowledged its effectiveness.

For more of the latest research on weight management ingredients, check out the article “Worth the Weight" in INSIDER’s Weight Management Content Library. Also, attend SupplySide West on Tuesday, Oct. 6, for a one-hour session in the INSIDER Education Track that will explore key factors to help you identify well-designed studies, look at different weight loss ingredients, and gain tips on how to effectively and ethically advertise weight loss products.


1. Ryan E et al. “Acute Effects Of A Thermogenic Nutritional Supplement On Energy Expenditure And Cardiovascular Function At Rest, During Low-Intensity Exercise, And Recovery From Exercise." J Strength Cond Research. 2009. 23(3): 807-817.

2. Yoneshiro T et al. “Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans." J Clin Invest. 2013 Aug 1;123(8):3404-8. DOI: 10.1172/JCI67803.

3. Galgani JE, Revussin E. “Effect of dihydrocapsiate on resting metabolic rate in humans." Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1089-93. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.30036.

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