Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hot Pepper for Fat Loss?

New study time. Look for this ingredient to be in a fat loss supplement soon (it is probably already in one), but the science shows a very small change. I remember back quite a few years that it was thought that eating red hot peppers would promote an increase in thermogenesis (burning of fuel off as heat, so fat loss would result). I have not done a super in depth literature review on this, but it appears there are little data to support this notion.

Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications.

Snitker S, Fujishima Y, Shen H, Ott S, Pi-Sunyer X, Furuhata Y, Sato H, Takahashi M. University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21209, USA. ssnitker@medicine.umaryland.edu

BACKGROUND: Capsinoids from the Capsicum genus of plants are nonpungent capsaicin-related substances with effects on metabolism and body weight in animals. OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to explore the safety and efficacy of capsinoids taken orally (6 mg/d) for weight loss, fat loss, and change in metabolism and to examine whether candidate genes are predictors of capsinoid response.

DESIGN: This was a 12-wk, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study. Eligibility criteria included a body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) of 25-35. Body weight was measured, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, indirect calorimetry (men only), and genotyping were conducted.

RESULTS: Forty women and 40 men with a mean (+/- SD) age of 42 +/- 8 y and BMI of 30.4 +/- 2.4 were randomly assigned to a capsinoid or placebo group. Capsinoids were well tolerated. Mean (+/- SD) weight change was 0.9 +/- 3.1 and 0.5 +/- 2.4 kg in the capsinoid and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.86). There was no significant group difference in total change in adiposity, but abdominal adiposity decreased more (P = 0.049) in the capsinoid group (-1.11 +/- 1.83%) than in the placebo group (-0.18 +/- 1.94%), and this change correlated with the change in body weight (r = 0.46, P < p =" 0.06)." style="font-weight: bold;">

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with 6 mg/d capsinoids orally appeared to be safe and was associated with abdominal fat loss. Capsinoid ingestion was associated with an increase in fat oxidation that was nearly significant. We identified 2 common genetic variants that may be predictors of therapeutic response.

My Notes: It was great that they used DEXA for body fat analysis and it was conducted in a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled fashion (all good words for studies).

Keep in mind that it really doesn't matter how much fat you burn if you are not LOSING fat! I can burn a ton of fat, but if I eat even more; I will get fat! So while looking at fat burning is great from a scientific point of view, but it does not directly translate to deflating that spare tire or destroying your muffin top!