Akay Natural Ingredients study: Low-dose chili extract effective in weight management

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

© MindStorm-inc / Getty Images
© MindStorm-inc / Getty Images

Related tags chilli Weight management Obesity Physical performance Body mass index

Red chili extract Capsifen supports weight management at low doses, reducing the likelihood of side effects, according to new research from Akay Natural Ingredients.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, ​investigated the efficacy of the Indian ingredients supplier's patented extract (CapF) on energy expenditure, fat oxidation and endurance in 105 healthy overweight participants. 

CapF is red chili extract encapsulated in fenugreek soluble dietary fibre for sustained-intestinal release formulated via the company’s trademarked technology, Fenumat.

The supplement was previously found​ to be bioavailable and safe at dosages of 200 mg/day in individuals with obesity and helped to reduce body weight following 28 days of supplementation.

In the current study, participants received either placebo, CapF 100 mg/day or CapF 200 mg/day for 28 days, with results showing that CapF was efficacious at increasing both doses in energy expenditure and physical performance.

“The significance of the study comes from the observation that CapF at the tested dose was tolerated and did not produce adverse events such as increased heart rate, pulse rate, palpitation, sweating and abdominal pain, despite its efficacy,” wrote the authors from India and the United States, including two researchers from Akay. 

They found that while better results correlated with higher dosages, the lower dose could still offer a side-effect-free solution for weight management. 

Red chili and thermogenesis

Energy expenditure comprises three main components: resting energy expenditure (EE-R), which is required for basic bodily functions at rest; exercise-induced energy expenditure (EEE); and diet-induced energy expenditure, used in digestion and metabolism.

Diet-induced energy expenditure involves thermogenesis—the dissipation of energy through the production of heat and an important factor in regulating temperature and energy balance​.

Previous research has shown that pungent red chili pepper extracts containing capsaicinoids provide physiological benefits in overweight and obese individuals​ by enhancing thermogenesis through stimulating bodily responses. 

However, the authors of the current study noted that the sensory burn and gastrointestinal side effects associated with red chili remain a major challenge for its clinical use, and this could be mitigated by offering a low dose of CapF . 

Capsifen​ and weight management

For the three-arm, three-sequence study, the researchers collected anthropometric indexes, blood pressure and cardiopulmonary exercise measures at baseline (day 1) and at the the end of the study period (day 28).

Results showed that body weight was significantly reduced in the CapF 100 and CapF 200 groups but not in the placebo group. The reduction in BMI in the CapF 100 and CapF 200 groups was also statistically significant.

Exercise-induced respiratory quotient (ERQ), a measure of substrate oxidation linked to the ease or difficulty of breathing, showed a significant reduction for the CapF 100 (5.1%; p​ = 0.001) and a 12.24% reduction in the CapF 200, respectively, compared to baseline, but no significant change in the placebo group.

Data also indicated a substantial increase in both resting and exercise-induced energy expenditure (EE-R and EEE) when CapF was consumed at 100 and 200 mg/day.

However, while the CapF 100 group showed an 11-fold increase in EE-R and a 25-fold increase in EEE, the CapF 200 group showed a 16-fold and 30-fold increase, respectively, compared to their baseline values.

In all measurements, outcomes observed in the CapF 200 group were significantly higher than in the CapF 100 group, demonstrating a dose-dependent response. 

“These results demonstrate the plausible efficacy of CapF in energy expenditure and physical performance in otherwise healthy adults who have a high body mass index,” the authors concluded.

CapF consumption was accompanied by a 1°C to 2°C body temperature increase as measured in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. The study noted that a 10% to 13% increase in metabolic rate can increase the core body temperature by 1° centigrade, which would lead to an increase in caloric expenditure of 100 to 130 Kcal/day.

“The main challenge in clinical settings is the consumption of a physiologically relevant dosage of pungent red chili pepper extract for the systemic absorption of its bioactive capsaicinoids,” the authors wrote. “The slow-release mechanism protected the capsaicinoids from the stomach environment, thereby preventing gastrointestinal irritation commonly associated with the consumption of capsaicin or pungent red chili extracts.”


Journal: Frontiers in Nutrition
soi: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1348328
“A natural sustained-intestinal release formulation of red chili pepper extracted capsaicinoids (Capsifen®) safely modulates energy balance and endurance performance: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.”
Authors: Roopashree, N. Et al.

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