Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Fiery Pepper Fatal for Fat Cells?

Capsaicin, a Compound in Hot Red Peppers, May Halt Fat Formation
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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 people.

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 cells.

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 Food Chemistry.

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 ingredient.

But for many people, losing weight is anything but simple. That's why any food that could help would be hot.

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
Woman trying clothes / dress
Assessment
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections