Capsiplex the Latest Weight Loss Sensation, But Does It Work?
Capsiplex, originally produced in the UK, has come to the United States and claims to be the answer to effective weight loss. The main ingredient, capsicum from red chili peppers, is said to burn up to 278 calories, resulting in a 25 pound-a-year weight loss.
Capsicum is the name of a group of plants in the nightshade family that are native to Mexico and Central America. Varieties include the cayenne pepper, jalapeno pepper, and paprika.
Capsiplex claims to reduce appetite, increase the metabolic rate, reduce body fat, double fat burning capability, and increase energy level. The four clinical studies cited on the supplement website included very few subjects for a very short amount of time. Study 1, for example, involved 8 subjects taking 100 mg of Capsicum extract for 8 days. The largest study cited involved 14 subjects for 14 days.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published the results of a clinical trial conducted in 2007 that show that that evidence is insufficient to support the use of capsicum in weight reduction. The clinical trial evaluated the safety and effectiveness of 6 milligrams/day of capsaicinoids over 12 weeks, and weight loss was not achieved in test subjects.
Capsicum supplements taken by mouth can cause stomach upset or diarrhea. The manufacturers of Capsiplex USA claim that their product can be used by even those with sensitive stomachs because their pills are coated with a special ingredient that prevents oral or gastric irritation. Other common side effects of capsicum supplements are sweating, skin flushing, runny nose, and tears.
People taking theophylline (an asthma medication) or acetaminophen should not take capsicum supplements due to possible interactions that cause the body to absorb too much of the medication. The supplements may also interfere with or worsen side effects of certain blood pressure medicines. Those who are allergic to peppers or latex, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and children should not take capsaicin or other pepper extracts internally.
Those choosing to try dietary supplements should keep in mind that these products, unlike medications, are not subject to FDA approval and do not need to show evidence of safety or health benefits before being allowed to be sold to the public.
Capsiplex can be purchased only through its official distributor in U.S. and Canada at http://www.capsiplexusa.com. A one month supply costs $49.