ACS Chemistry logoChili pepper adds spice to most of our dishes and is a common ingredient in many cuisines across the world. We probably may not have thought that chili peppers could also work wonders in fighting obesity. That’s right! Researchers now declare that capsaicin is the component that gives chili peppers the intensity to stimulate weight loss and stop fat buildup.

The fat fighting ability of chili peppers appears to provoke it to cause certain significant protein changes in the body. And this latest research suggests that it may help in identifying innovative methods to fight obesity. Obesity, a major concern among the masses may be linked to various factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems. Jong Won Yun and colleagues conducted a research on mice in the laboratory to better understand the role of capsaicin.

The experts observed that this ingredient decreased the calorie intake, shrinked fat tissues and lowered fat levels in the body. Though it is not yet clear how capsaicin may initiate such beneficial effects. The groups of rats involved in the research were fed with high-fat diets. Their diets contained or did not contain capsaicin.

It was observed that the rats fed with capsaicin lost 8 percent of their body weight. They also showed changes in the levels of at least 20 key proteins that are present in fat. These altered proteins help to break down fats. Researchers also say that these changes offer important insights into the structure of antiobesity effects of capsaicin.

This research appeared in the ACS’ monthly Journal of Proteome Research.