Fiery Pepper Fatal for Fat Cells?
Capsaicin, a Compound in Hot Red Peppers, May Halt Fat Formation
March 6, 2007 -- Capsaicin, the fiery compound in hot red peppers, may make
fledging fat cells self-destruct, Taiwanese scientists report.
But don’t drown your dinner in hot pepper sauce just yet. So far, the
Taiwanese team has only pitted capsaicin against fat cells in test tubes, not
Scientists included Gow-Chin Yen, a professor in the food science and
biotechnology department at Taiwan's National Chung Hsing University.
They focused on cells called preadipocytes, which develop into fat cells.
The researchers wanted to see what effect capsaicin would have on such
First, they brewed a capsaicin extract in their lab. Then, they marinated
preadipocytes from mice in the capsaicin extract for eight days, freshening the
capsaicin extract every other day.
The preadipocytes exposed to capsaicin died before becoming fat cells,
according to the study, which appears in the Journal of Agricultural and
Looking to lose weight? The researchers aren't making diet recommendations
at this point.
The basic principle of weight loss is simple -- burn more calories than you
consume -- and doesn't require spicy red peppers or any other exotic
But for many people, losing weight is anything but simple. That's why any
food that could help would be hot.