Many ingredients make claims about being the hottest thing in weight management, but only one truly delivers on that promise. We’re talking about capsaicinoids -- a potent class of compounds best known for putting the “hot” in “hot peppers.”
In addition to being spicy, capsaicinoids are also an incredibly effective weight management tool. What do you need to know about capsaicinoids as a powerful health and wellness supplement? Let's take a closer look.
Capsaicinoids are made up of five primary constituents: capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin, homocapsaicin and homodihydrocapsaicin. Research on this group of compounds has shown that their benefits for supporting healthy weight management are diverse and include lipolysis – the breakdown of fat, healthy body composition and appetite control.
How do they work? Capsaicinoids interact with receptors in the body simply known as capsaicin receptors (technically, they’re called transient receptor potential cation channel subtype 1 or TRVP1). Capsaicin receptors are highly expressed in numerous tissues of the body, including gastrointestinal, adipose and liver. In fact, the “burning” effect from capsaicinoids is a result of their interaction with TRVP1 receptors in the mouth. Activation of these receptors can increase lipolysis – the breakdown of fat – releasing free fatty acids that are metabolized for energy and heat production. Lipolysis is particularly important during low to moderate exercise as free fatty acids play an essential role supplying energy to the body. Capsaicinoids may also interact with receptors found in the gastrointestinal tract and play a role in appetite control. The result is a food-based ingredient that may help support energy production and healthy weight at a low dosage.
Safe and Effective
From Sweet Bell to Cayenne to Chili, Jalapeño to Serrano and more, capsaicinoid-containing foods are a global food staple found in nearly every type of cuisine with a long history of safety. Capsicum-derived ingredients are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) with no objection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Capsaicinoids Solution
Obesity and weight gain is a global health concern that often leads to comorbidities and increases the risk for developing multiple chronic conditions. The number of overweight individuals globally doubled from approximately 1 billion to 2 billion from 2003 to 2013. The primary mechanism leading to weight gain is a matter of energy balance – excessive caloric intake and low caloric expenditure results in a shift toward storage as fat. As part of an overall wellness plan that includes diet and increased physical activity, capsaicinoids may be an effective adjunct to successful weight management because of their diverse effects on energy intake and metabolism.
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