Chili Pepper Ingredient May Fight Fat

DAEGU, South Korea, July 26 (UPI) — Researchers in South Korea say chili peppers contain an ingredient — capsaicin — that may cause weight loss and fight fat.

Jong Won Yun and colleagues at Daegu University in South Korea say laboratory studies suggest capaicin, which produces the “hot” in hot peppers, triggers proteins that help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue and lowering fat levels in the blood. However, they say, it is not known exactly how capsaicin might trigger such beneficial effects.

The report, published in the American Cancer Society’s Journal of Proteome Research, reports capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat.

“These changes provide valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the antiobesity effects of capsaicin,” the scientists said in a statement.

The researchers studied how thermogenesis and lipid metabolism related proteins were markedly altered on the molecular level by capsaicin by comparing 5-week-old rats fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin.

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