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Here's a Science-Backed Trick to Avoid Weight Gain Whenever You Eat a Fatty Food

Tim Boyer's picture
Avoid Weight Gain

Do you ever give up on a diet just because you cannot avoid eating at least one fatty food during the week, or even once a day?! Find out now about a science-backed trick that researchers found can help offset and avoid further weight gain whenever you give in and eat a fatty food.


While on a diet, do you ever find yourself falling off the wagon by giving in and indulging in a fatty meal such as a nice, cheesy all beef patty on a sesame seed bun? Although research has shown that we should not beat ourselves up for the occasional diet lapse, new research shows that there is further support of a science-backed trick to avoid weight gain whenever you succumb to a fatty food—chili peppers.

According to a new study made by researchers at the University of Wyoming, the chief ingredient in chili peppers - capsaicin - works effectively as a natural diet-based supplement.

Capsaicin is the chemical component that gives many peppers their burn. You can find it by carefully splitting open a pepper of almost any type, looking for the white septa pith inside that divides it into ridged sections where the seeds are formed. There is also some capsaicin in the flesh of the pepper, but in significantly lower concentrations.

Evolutionary biologists posit that capsaicin evolved as a chemical defense against plant eating animals by evolving a strong tissue-burning oil in its seeds. One further interesting evolutionary fact is that while many animals find capsicum peppers distasteful, birds are unaffected by capsaicin because they do not possess capsaicin binding receptors. The evolutionary advantage of this is that the birds eat the pepper and then spread the seeds over a broad area from their digested waste.

Pepper plants as it turns out have been studied for a number of years because of its tongue-blasting properties that evokes an unusual mix of both pleasurable and painful sensations. Proper sautéing with a pepper can greatly enhance an otherwise dull dish into a flavorful one that provides a gentle burn. However, the most common non-food use of capsaicin from pepper plants resulted from the invention of the non-lethal pepper spray used by police forces and civilians for self-defense.

In medicine, the power of capsaicin is being investigated for its health-promoting properties. In fact, some believe that the capsaicin in pepper plants may have its greatest health benefit by preventing cancer.

Now, however, there is a growing interest in using pepper plants as a diet aid for weight loss. Earlier research in obesity has shown that Cayenne pepper actually stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting the secretion of the catecholamine chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine, which in turn increases the body’s metabolic rate and temperature and thus results in an increase in burning fat calories as heat―a process referred to as thermogenic biogenesis that researchers believe they have uncovered more about how this works.

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According to a press release from the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting about the pepper research performed at the University of Wyoming, dietary capsaicin may stimulate thermogenesis and energy burning by activating specific receptors in white and brown fat cells.

"Obesity is caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and energy dissipation," explained Vivek Krishnan, a graduate student working in Baskaran Thyagarajan's laboratory at the University of Wyoming's School of Pharmacy. "In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic (heat produced by burning fat) machinery to burn stored fat. Eating calorie-rich food and a lack of physical activity cause an imbalance in metabolism that leads to obesity."

At the meeting, the research group reported that their data shows that dietary capsaicin initiates the expression of a potentially key cell channel protein “TRPV1” that suppressed high-fat-diet-induced obesity in tests done with mice.

They found that providing mice with a high-fat diet that contained only 0.01 percent capsaicin prevented high-fat-diet-induced weight gain and increased the metabolic activity in normal mice, but not in mice that genetically lacked the TRPV1 gene.

The group hypothesizes that dietary capsaicin possibly via TRPV1 induces the conversion of white fat into brown fat and as a result stimulates thermogenesis to counteract obesity.

"The main goal of our work is to expand the knowledge of the mechanism by which capsaicin antagonizes obesity, as well as to advance the proof of principle of the anti-obesity potential of dietary capsaicin. Next, we'll focus on our longer-term goal of developing TRPV1 agonists as new drug molecules to prevent and treat obesity," stated the researchers in the study.

The researchers believe that capsaicin can be formulated into a nanoparticle-based sustained-release natural dietary supplement to treat and prevent obesity in humans and have already submitted a patent for the drug delivery aspect of the discovery.

Until then, however, you can try capsaicin in your diet by making this Dr. Oz-recommended Capsicum weight loss supplement.

Reference: Biophysical Society Annual Meeting 2015s poster #B399, "Dietary capsaicin and exercise: analysis of a two-pronged approach to counteract obesity" by Vivek Krishnan, Kevin Fettel and Baskaran Thyagarajan.