‘Exciting findings’: Capsicum extract may help slim waist lines

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/wasan gredpree
iStock/wasan gredpree

Related tags Weight management Obesity

Daily supplementation with extracts from chili peppers may significantly reduce the waist to hip ratio in healthy adults, says a new study.

A daily 2 mg dose of capsaicinoids for 12 weeks was also associated with significant reductions in calorie consumption, according to findings published in the journal Appetite​.

“[O]ur data demonstrate that 12 weeks of capsaicinoid supplementation may be effective at reducing appetite and potentially improving select body composition metrics (i.e., waist: hip ratio),”​ wrote scientists from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Auburn University, and Increnovo LLC.

The study used the commercially available Capsimax ingredient from OmniActive Health Technologies, and the company funded the study via a grant to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

“A significant study”

Capsimax capsicum extract is derived from the capsicum pepper and delivers effective levels of capsaicinoids without the oral and gastric burning sensation of unprotected red hot peppers. Capsimax is manufactured using OmniBead Beadlet Technology to encapsulate the beneficial heat of concentrated, highly-active natural capsicum in a controlled release coating.

The new study was welcomed by Lynda Doyle, VP of global sales and marketing for OmniActive, who told NutraIngredients-USA: “We’re excited by the findings from this study because it provides further support to Capsimax as a natural and effective ingredient to support weight management and long-term health.

“This study is significant because it shows that a low dose of capsaicinoids from Capsimax has a significant effect on reducing belly fat as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). WHR indicates how fat is distributed across the abdomen and hips and is a better predictor of future health risk than just measuring body weight alone. In fact, WHR has been shown to be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease than body-mass index.

“Research shows that people with "apple-shaped" bodies (with more weight around the waist) face more health risks than those with "pear-shaped" bodies who carry more weight around the hips. So, reducing abdominal fat not only improves body image but also long-term health. This is study also confirms prior research showing that Capsimax effectively decreases appetite,”​ said Doyle.

Study details

The researchers recruited 77 healthy men and women to participate in their study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a low dose (2 mg of capsaicinoid; 100 mg Capsimax) or high dose (4 mg of capsaicinoid; 200 mg Capsimax) daily for 12 weeks, or a corn starch placebo.

Results showed that waist to hip ratio in the low dose group significantly decreased by 2.4% after six weeks, but no significant differences were observed between the groups at the end of the 12 week study.

Participants consuming the high dose supplement consumed fewer calories after 12 weeks of intervention, compared to the other two groups.

“Interestingly, [high dose capsaicinoid] participants presented significant increases in serum insulin as well as significant decreases in serum HDL cholesterol levels from [week 0 to week 12],” ​wrote the researchers. “However, supplementation did not affect the insulin response to the administered [oral glucose tolerance test] and/or other indices of insulin sensitivity.”

“Future studies are needed which control for various lifestyle factors (i.e., diet and physical activity) in order to determine if modulating these factors with concomitant [capsaicinoid] supplementation unveils potential synergistic effects,” ​they added.

“More mechanistic research is also needed in order to determine the mechanisms whereby capsaicinoid supplementation may affect cholesterol production and insulin secretion in diseased populations; specifically, if capsaicinoid supplementation can increase insulin secretion in diabetic patients and/or reduce cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients then this could be a viable nutraceutical strategy to help improve metabolic outcomes.”


Consumer understanding and awareness of the benefits of capsaicinoid for weight management is growing, said Doyle, especially with the spate of recent media coverage correlating chili peppers with weight loss and even contributing to a longer life.

“Capsaicinoids are an ideal ingredient for the growing dietary supplements category because they provide natural, food-based solutions for consumers to meet their weight management and exercise goals,” ​she said.

The Capsimax ingredient is found in hundreds of formulas targeting weight management, energy support and exercise performance, added Doyle.

“Its unique OmniBead technology encapsulates all the beneficial properties of capsaicinoids without the “burn” associated with chili peppers and is suitable for application is capsules, tablets, and powdered drink mixes,”​ she said.

Source: Appetite
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.025
“Effects of twelve weeks of capsaicinoid supplementation on body composition, appetite and self-reported caloric intake in overweight individuals”
Authors: S.L. Urbina, et al.

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