Eating chilli peppers can help dieters to lose weight by raising their metabolism and burning away fat, according to scientists
Researchers have found that the heat generated by peppers can actually increase your consumption of calories and “oxidise” layers of fat.
And for those that don’t like the “burn”, they have discovered that an equivalent of the main ingredient “capsaicin” occurs in some non-hot varieties of the fruit
The heat of pepper evolved to put animals off eating them, but humans have come to like them and they have been a staple of many diets around the world for thousands of years.
Scientists – intrigued by the ability of the fruit to make you sweat – now believe they can help as part of a diet.
There are plants that make a non-burning version of capsaicin called dihydrocapsiate (DCT) that could have the benefits of peppers without the pungency, it has been discovered.
Researchers at the University of California recruited 34 men and women who were willing to consume a very low-calorie liquid meal replacement product for 28 days.
The researchers, led by Dr David Heber, then randomly chose the subjects to take either placebo pills or supplements containing the non-burning DCT pepper.
Their data provided convincing evidence that, at least for several hours after the test meal was consumed, energy expenditure was significantly increased in the group consuming the highest amount of DCT.
In fact, it was almost double that of the placebo group.
They were also able to show that DCT significantly increased fat oxidation, pushing the body to use more fat as fuel. This may help people lose weight when they consume a low-calorie diet by increasing metabolism.
Dr Heber and his research team will present their results at the Experimental Biology annual conference.