April 28, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.Adding about half a teaspoon of red chile peppers to a daily meal may help curb hunger pangs and burn more calories, especially for individuals who dont eat the spice on a regular basis, according to a new study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.
Researchers at Purdue University measured the effects of 1 gram of ordinary dried ground cayenne red pepper on appetite. Previous studies have shown that capsaicin, the active component that gives hot peppers their heat, can reduce hunger and help burn calories.
Twenty-five non-overweight people13 who liked spicy food and 12 who did notparticipated in the 6-week study. The preferred level of pepper for each group was determined in advance; those who did not like red pepper preferred 0.3 grams compared to regular spice users who preferred 1.8 grams. In general, red pepper consumption did increase core body temperature and burn more calories through natural energy expenditure. The study found those who did not consume red pepper regularly experienced a decrease of hunger, especially for fatty, salty and sweet foods.
"The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect. Once it becomes familiar to people, it loses its efficacy," the researchers said.
According to the researchers, the failure to account for individual differences in liking the burn of chile peppers may explain why previous studies varied on capsaicin's impact on appetite suppression and thermogenic response. They also suggest red pepper should be consumed in non-capsule form because the tastethe sensory experiencemaximizes the digestive process.
That burn in your mouth is responsible for that effect. It turns out you get a more robust effect if you include the sensory part because the burn contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control," the said.
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