Diet Research: Weight Loss from Hot Peppers & Inosine to Get you Lean

Hot Peppers and Weight Loss

Successful Weight Loss is a Combination of Fitness and Nutrition

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Capsaicin is the constituent of hot peppers that turns up the heat. Since thermogenesis is the production of heat, it makes sense that hot peppers might help enhance thermogenesis by turning up the heat in the body. Puffing our rodent friends to the test, a group of researchers in Japan set out to determine if feeding capsaicin to exercising rats would reduce bodyweight and improve mobilization of fat and therefore reduce bodyfat percentage better than exercise alone. They fed 144 rats a diet of 25% fat, 60% carbs and 15% protein along with 0.014% capsaicin for seven days, then split them into placebo and copsaicin groups. Each rat performed the same amount of treadmill exercise during the 14-day study.

As published in the journal Nutrition Research, results showed no difference in the rats' bodyweight between treatment and control groups, but the capsaicin group had significantly decreased abdominal fat compared to the placebo group. Did the capsaicin activate beta-adrenergic receptors, thereby mobilizing more fat? To find out, researchers chemically blocked the receptors in half of the capsaicin group and learned that capsaicin caused beta-adrenergic mobilization of fat in the exercising rats above that found in the placebo group. In a nutshell, capsaicin improved the rats' body composition and fat mobilization. So go ahead and sweat through few spiced-up meals each week. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it may do more for your health than eating an apple a day!


The latest fad diet is based on a low-carbohydrate intake to help prevent spikes in insulin levels, which may cause the body to produce more fat. What if you could have your carbs and still maintain steady blood-sugar levels? In an exciting study published in the Journal of Nutrition, a group of Japanese researchers examined the consumption of inosine, a nucleoside, in combination with common table sugar (sucrose), on the rise hi blood-glucose levels and insulin secretion in 23 healthy volunteers, The 18 males and five females each participated in three phases of the study.

The control group took 50 grams of sucrose; treatment groups added 1 gram or 2.5 grams of inosine to the sucrose. Blood glucose and insulin were measured every 30 minutes for three hours, and results indicated that inosine consumed with sucrose effectively blunts both glucose absorption and the subsequent insulin response compared to sucrose alone. When combined with previous rat data, this human study appears to support the hypothesis that inosine can prevent sucrose from being broken down and absorbed into the body by altering enzyme breakdown in the gut. Why is this so interesting? If you can blunt the absorption of sucrose, it effectively becomes a low-calorie sweetener but with all of the taste and cooking benefits you'd expect with table sugar. Researchers believe that the ideal ratio may be closer to 5 grams of inosine to 50 grams of sucrose. Long-term studies are needed to determine whether secondary benefits of weight loss and diabetes management exist.

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