During March’s Natural Products Expo West trade show, OmniActive Health Technologies (Morristown, NJ) discussed how its Capsimax capsaicin ingredient, an extract from red chili peppers, is helping to address three important areas of weight management: 1) increasing metabolic rate and caloric expenditure, 2) breaking down stored fat, and 3) suppressing appetite.
“All of those things that people look for in a weight-management product, all of those things that they want to do to be healthier, Capsimax covers,” said Brian Appell, marketing manager, OmniActive, during Natural Products Expo West. “And what’s really important is that it’s not doing it in a stimulatory fashion. It’s not like caffeine or like Ephedra that used to increase your blood pressure or heart rate.”
Capsimax has long been known as a thermogenic and an ingredient that increases lipolysis (breaking down fat), but recent studies are confirming additional benefits such as appetite control. Last year, in an abstract published in The FASEB Journal1and covered by Nutritional Outlook, researchers said that when they tested Capsimax in a 12-week, 77-subject study, they found that Capsimax was able to suppress appetite as well as reduce waist and hip circumference.
Appell said OmniActive has now completed a new study, pending publication, that found that taking Capsimax increases subjects’ resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories your body burns while at rest.
“What they’re finding is that resting energy expenditure is one of those aspects of weight management that plays a critical role in how much weight you lose and if you keep it off,” Appell explained. “For example, when you lose weight, two things happen: 1) you lose fat, but 2) you also lose muscle. Muscle is much more metabolically active than fat. When people can’t lose those last five pounds, it’s because we’re designed to store calories. And when you start restricting calories and when you start losing muscle mass because you’re dieting, your resting caloric expenditure drops.”
According to the recent study results, Appell said, Capsimax helps to boost calories burned at rest. And, he said, the results are slow, but steady. “What we found is that taking just 100 mg/day of Capsimax burns an additional 100 calories per day,” he said. “Now, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but to put that into perspective, if you take Capsimax once per day, within a month you burn 3000 calories, which is essentially almost a pound of fat.”
Plus, he said, what’s attractive about Capsimax to weight-management consumers these days is that the ingredient is natural. “It’s a food-based, natural ingredient, which in terms of the trends that you see in the industry now, more people are looking for those food-based, natural, alternative products, something derived from food rather than a synthetic product,” Appell said. “Capsimax is derived from red hot chili peppers, so in a sense there’s a great story to tell about it on the functional food side.” The ingredient was GRAS affirmed in December.
Looking toward Garcinia
Also during Natural Products Expo West, Sanjaya Mariwala, managing director of OmniActive, spoke about the company’s recent acquisition of India-based botanical ingredients supplier Indfrag. According to Mariwala, OmniActive’s plan is to brand and build up science around target ingredients from the Indfrag portfolio, and he pointed to one of Indfrag’s specialty ingredients in particular that he believes would be very promising for OmniActive in the weight-management space: Garcinia cambogia.
“We believe that one of the products that are very interesting in the weight-management space is the traditional product Garcinia cambogia,” Mariwala said. “Garcinia cambogia has had an up-and-down story, but I believe there’s a lot of potential in Garcinia cambogia because Garcinia cambogia can be creatively infused to do so many things which have not yet been done. It could be made into a beverage. It could be made into jam/jellies, or a food supplement.”
He continues, “I think what has happened is there have been two or three companies that have done Garcinia cambogia very well in the past in the supplements market.” However, he says, “those companies took the growth cycle, and they sat on it.” As a result, he says, Garcinia cambogia ingredients “lost steam,” but he believes OmniActive can pick up that momentum.
“I believe the market still supports a large use of Garcinia cambogia,” he says. “I believe the potential exists, and OmniActive coming in will help.”