Capsaicin has been observed to decrease calorie intake, shrink fat tissue, and lower fat levels in the blood, but underlying molecular mechanism has not been elucidated; until now.
The resaerchers engaged an animal model of obesity, and fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to the study animals. The team observed that the capsaicin-treated rats lost 8% of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat, whereby the altered proteins worked to break down fats.
Writing that: “These data demonstrate that thermogenesis and lipid metabolism related proteins were markedly altered upon capsaicin treatment in [white adipose tissue],”the researchers urge that: “capsaicin may be a useful phytochemical for attenuation of obesity.”
Jeong In Joo, Dong Hyun Kim, Jung-Won Choi, Jong Won Yun. “Proteomic Analysis for Antiobesity Potential of Capsaicin on White Adipose Tissue in Rats Fed with a High Fat Diet.” J. Proteome Res., 2010, 9 (6), pp 2977–2987, April 1, 2010.