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RCT support for Ajinomoto’s weight management ingredient

By Stephen Daniells , 07-Oct-2010

Daily supplements of capsinoids - non-pungent compounds in sweet pepper – may boost weight loss by promoting energy use after a meal, suggests a new study from UCLA.

A daily dose of 9 milligrams of the capsinoid dihydrocapsiate was associated with a significant enhancement in energy expenditure after a meal, compared with a lower dose of 3 milligrams or placebo, according to findings published in Nutrition & Metabolism .

“In this small double-blinded, randomized, placebo controlled trial, we found that the consumption of a nonpungent capsiate supplement by overweight and obese subjects significantly increased post-prandial energy expenditure when combined with a high protein, very low calorie diet on an outpatient basis,” wrote researchers, led by David Heber MD, PhD, from the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California at Los Angeles.

“The increase is estimated to be equivalent to an increase in daily energy expendtiture of approximately 100 kcal for a 100 kg individual,” they added.

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The study supports the potential weight management actions of capsinoids, sister compounds to the more famous and more pungent compound capsaicin. While the ingredient has been reported to also produce thermogenic effects like capsaicin, capsinoids are not said to produce the gastrointestinal side effects of its more pungent relative.

The new study used Ajinomoto Inc’s dihydrocapsiate capsules of 1 mg. The FDA issued a GRAS letter of no objection to Ajinimoto in early 2009 for the company's capsinoid ingredient.

Study details

Dr Heber and his co-workers recruited 33 healthy men and postmenopausal women with BMIs between 27 and 35 kg/m2 who completed an outpatient protein-rich very-low calorie diet (VLCD) providing only 800 kcal per day.

The volunteers were then randomly assigned to receive one of two doses of dihydrocapsiate (3 mg or 9 mg) or placebo for four weeks. Metabolic rates after eating and at rest were measured by the UCLA researchers.

Results showed that, while resting metabolic processes were not affected, the high dose of dihydrocapsiate was associated with a statistically significant increase in energy expenditure after a meal.

“These data provide evidence for postprandial increases in thermogenesis and fat oxidation secondary to administration of dihydrocapsiate,” said the researchers.

“Further studies are needed to assess the impact of the predicted differences in energy expenditure related to dihydrocapsiate supplementation on weight loss and weight maintenance in free-living populations,” they concluded.

Market potential

The research taps into the burgeoning weight loss and management market, estimated to already be worth $7bn (€5.2bn) globally. With 50 per cent of Europeans and 62 per cent of Americans classed as overweight, the food industry is waking up to the potential of products for weight loss and management.

The slimming ingredients market can be divided into five groups based on the mechanisms of action - boosting fat burning/ thermogenesis, inhibiting protein breakdown, suppressing appetite/ boosting satiety (feeling of fullness), blocking fat absorption, and regulating mood (linked to food consumption).

Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2010, 7:78, doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-7-78
“Effects of dihydrocapsiate on adaptive and diet-induced thermogenesis with a high protein very low calorie diet: a randomized control trial”
Authors: T.Y.A. Lee, Z. Li, A. Zerlin, D. Heber
To read the full paper, please click here .

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