Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

The chilli pepper diet?

Dr David Heber has found that eating a non-fiery version of the active ingredient in chillis increases energy expenditure and burns fat, at least in people on a very low calorie diet.

The ingredient that makes chillis hot is capsaicin, believed to have evolved to put animals off eating the peppers through pain avoidance. Heber used a non-burning version of capsaicin, called DCT (dihydrocapsiate), also made by plants.

Volunteers went on a very low calorie meal replacement diet for 28 days. One group got DCT while controls got a placebo. The DCT doubled the energy expenditure compared to the placebo, in an effect lasting several hours.

Heber was also able to show that the energy expenditure was burning fat as the fuel.

By coincidence, Dr Kenneth Hargreaves has just published research to show that the human body releases a substance very similar to capsaicin, called OLAM (oxidized linoleic acid metabolite), when injured and when OLAM is picked up by receptors, we perceive pain as the result. Dr Hargreaves is working on blocking pain by blocking this chemical pathway.


April 28, 2010 - Posted by | Capsaicin - chillis, David Heber, Diet, Kenneth Hargreaves, Pain

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