We don’t have to convince anybody who had a chance to try chili pepper that after eating it you get really hot! It turns out that this effect may be used in a functional way to support losing weight! Yes, this is not a mistake. Capsaicin contained in chili is a natural and strong thermogenic!

Chili and capsaicin

Chili peppers are the source of many interesting substances, such as vitamins and minerals. However, capsaicin demonstrates especially interesting effect. It is an organic, chemical compound with strong irritant and thermogenic properties. In old times capsaicin was used to blind enemies for a short time and Indians chewed chili pepper to relieve tooth pain. Today, this alkaloid constitutes the component of pepper sprays.
Capsaicin influences vanilloid receptor (which becomes activated under the influence of high temperature), which is accompanied by the feeling of acute burning or sometimes pain. Body temperature gets physically increased, which is connected to, among others, catecholamine release from adrenal medulla (adrenalin and noradrenalin). By the same token the metabolism is accelerated and lipolysis gets intensified. It is, however, only temporary effect. On the other hand, it turns out that capsaicin may have prolonged thermogenic effect!

Newly discovered capsaicin properties

If thermogenic effect of capsaicin was limited only to stimulating vanilloid receptors, it would be very short and would pass after a few minutes. In practice, however, thermogenic effect, after taking the substance, remains for longer. The recently published study results indicate that it is connected to the fact that the above mentioned alkaloid changes the activity of protein called SERCA, appearing in muscle tissue. It results in the “dysfunction” of the transport of calcium ions in muscle cells in such a way that a considerable part of energy derived in metabolic changes gets dispersed in the form of heat. It is a bit as if during boing water, we took the lid from the pot – the larger part of the energy gets “wasted”.


Taking into consideration the above mentioned capsaicin properties we may risk the statement that spicy meals are more silhouette-friendly than the dishes with delicate taste, without adding hot seasoning. This fact may be used in practice during balancing your own meals in a reducing diet.

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