Before we jump into the story about Cayenne Pepper, let’s make one thing clear; there is no such ingredient as ‘magical weight loss substance’. Just by introducing something into your diet (Cayenne Pepper, for example), you won’t magically melt away excess weight.
Why? Because successful weight loss (by successful, we mean healthy, sustainable and permanent) depends on balanced diet and physical activity. During the process, the body needs all the help it can get – metabolic booster, circulation booster, fibers, minerals, and vitamins etc.
The good news is Cayenne Pepper can help strengthen a majority of ‘weight loss mechanisms’.
Read on, by the end of this article, you’ll learn:
- The reason why Cayenne Pepper is ‘spicy’
- How do you know Cayenne Pepper helps you lose weight?
- Benefits & effects of Cayenne Pepper on fat loss
The Reason Why Cayenne Pepper Is ‘Spicy’
Cayenne Pepper is known for its ‘spice’ when ingested; this is because it activates TRPV1 receptors of the nerve endings in the mouth. After their activation, a vast amount of calcium is let into the nerve endings which fire off nerve impulses to the brain.
Simply put, these impulses are to blame for the well-known burn (essentially, burning sensation is a modality of pain).
The thing is, TRPV1 receptors are found not only in the mouth, but in a number of other tissues throughout the body, including; fat cells, liver, blood vessels, muscles, epithelial membranes throughout the body, immune cells, neurons, brain, spinal column .
To trigger systemic TRPV1 effects (by systemic, we mean not only receptors in the mouth but the rest of the body as well), sufficient amounts of Cayenne Pepper needs to be absorbed.
How Do You Know Cayenne Pepper Helps You Lose Weight?
Simply put, there is no down-regulation of TRPV1! . We’ll explain more in less scientific terms below…
In order to protect against different environmental factors (on a molecular level), our bodies over millions of years of evolution developed a mechanism to control the number of specific receptors on cell membranes.
For example, insulin resistance (a condition that’s followed up with diabetes if not treated) essentially is a consequence of down-regulation of insulin receptors.
The more sugar we eat, the higher amount of insulin is needed to eliminate it from the bloodstream; the amount of insulin receptors decreases and more insulin is required to trigger the remaining receptors. Over time, the body cannot produce enough insulin to eliminate all the blood sugar, and diabetes establishes.
As we’ve mentioned, in the case of Cayenne Pepper and its receptors (TRPV1), there is no downregulation! No matter how hard we stimulate those receptors, they will perform equally effectively, each time resulting in the effect of the same intensity .
In quick summary, your body does not become ‘immune’ or ‘tolerant’ to Cayenne Pepper over time – it is infinitely stimulated to burn fat as long as there is enough of Cayenne Pepper!
Benefits & Effects of Cayenne Pepper on Fat Loss
Experiments on mice demonstrated Cayenne Pepper effects to adipose tissue. It reduces inflammation and boosts fat burning hormonal base – adiponectin (low adiponectin levels are associated with diabetes, obesity, and bad blood lipid profile).
Other than this, Cayenne Pepper reduces plasma levels of glucose (insulin resistance and diabetes are a common problem in overweight population).
A study published in 2011 demonstrated that Cayenne Pepper effectively lowers triglycerides levels . But we’ll expand on the other benefits, backed in clinical studies below.
Helps Reduce Visceral Fat
Cayenne Pepper melts down visceral fat. All the fat contained in the abdominal and thoracic cavity is called visceral (fat deposits around heart, liver, kidney, etc.) Although not as visible as subcutaneous fat, it is a lot more deadly.
Another recent study demonstrated that Cayenne Pepper increases the number of certain receptors (lipase and connexin-4 ); this activation directly triggers fat burn cascade .
*Note* In case you’re wondering, subcutaneous fat is fat deposits under the skin – all the fat visible by a naked eye (love handles, stomach, etc.).
Metabolic Syndrome Resolution
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high amount of visceral fat (waist circumference greater than 40 inches in males and 35 inches in females) and abnormal triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
The most important things about it are:
1. If left untreated it leads to diabetes
2. It is preventable and curable by the right combination of diet and physical exercise
As the obesity establishes over time, blood glucose levels become higher and higher due to hormonal changes (because of an excess amount of food – sugars, and fats).
Just like we mentioned before, diabetes does not just kick in out of nowhere, it gradually develops over time, and the most important precursor of it is a metabolic syndrome.
Basically, Cayenne Pepper increases the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) . By doing so, blood glucose metabolism slowly goes back to normal, insulin resistance is put under control, and the risk of further metabolic syndrome development is decreased, which ultimately prevent diabetes in obese people.
Regarding weight loss, this effect is important because the fat loss is slowed down dramatically due to hormonal imbalances.
Positive Effects To Your Gut Flora
Recent studies show that one of the most critical parameters of health is your digestive system. Bad digestion often means bad health, obesity included.
It’s not about digestive system per se, but it’s inhabitants bacteria and fungi.
Why? Because to maintain an adequate balance in gut flora, you need to keep the good bacteria and fight off bad microorganisms that cause diseases.
One of the biggest enemies of intestinal health is Candida sp. (another quite infamous are Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans).
These fungi grow in the intestines by suppressing “good bacteria”, causing bad digestion in the short term and dangerous health conditions over the long run (inflammatory bowel disease, for example).
A group of researchers from Southern Regional Research Center, Colorado proved the thesis that Cayenne Pepper shows strong antifungal activity, especially against Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida sp .
Eliminating those from guts ensures stable and healthy gut flora, essentially providing the right conditions for long-term health and effective weight loss.
The Cayenne Pepper can help you as much body fat as you want! In the last decade, some research studies demonstrated undeniable weight loss benefits of Cayenne Pepper.
But keep in mind that, without an adequate diet and physical activity, it is quite hard to achieve healthy, sustainable, and permanent weight loss.
Cayenne Pepper benefits several critical metabolic points in the process of weight loss. As a result has a potential to cure metabolic syndrome, regulate gut flora, and blunt visceral fat.
Because of the absence of down-regulation, it effects are present as long as you take sufficient amounts through your diet; this means you’ll never become ‘tolerant’ and Cayenne Pepper will remain beneficial!
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 Czikora A, Rutkai I, Pasztor ET et al. Different desensitization patterns for sensory and vascular TRPV1 populations in the rat: expression, localization and functional consequences. PLoS ONE2013
 Kang JH, Tsuyoshi G, Le NH et al. Dietary capsaicin attenuates metabolic dysregulation in genetically obese diabetic mice. J Med Food 2011;14:310–15
 Chen J, Li L, Li Y et al. Activation of TRPV1 channel by dietary capsaicin improves visceral fat remodeling through connexin. 43-mediated Ca2+Influx. Cardiovasc Diabetol 2015;14:22
 Wang P, Yan Z, Zhong J et al. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 activation enhances gut glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion and improves glucose homeostasis. Diabetes 2012;61:2155–65
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