Does Cayenne Pepper Help Accelerate Weight Loss?
by Glenn Reschke
Putting the words cayenne pepper and weight loss together is not
something most would have done, I'm sure. Let me just answer it directly.
Can you lose weight by taking capsicum? Yes and no.
I'm not trying to be vague here but clearly more info is needed.
This is what cayenne pepper will do. The health benefits of cayenne pepper are phenomenal, and
assistance in losing weight is one of them.
Cayenne pepper will assist in the loss of weight but it won't be the sole
So, how does it "assist"? Primarily by equalizing the metabolism.
When you take cayenne on a regular daily basis you can increase your metabolism some say as much as
25% but that sounds too arbitrary to me.
Plus, according to a study done by food scientist Stephen Whiting as reported in the British
newspaper The Sun, capsaicin the active ingredient or secondary metabolite in cayenne, causes an adreline
rush, which in turn "orders" the brain to burn fat cells -- especially fat cells around the midriff or stomach
section (para. 3, 4).
You can download the study here as a downloadable pdf file or go to http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4416606/Its-the-red-hot-chilli-slimmers.html to read
the article as posted online.
What cayenne should be is a part of your regular diet as well as eating peppers in general.
I'm not talking of imbibing a cayenne fruit diet but drinking it daily or at least every other
Putting just a quarter of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder into a glass of warm water (that
would be ideal), will immediately benefit your entire circulatory system, your intestines, your stomach, not to
mention give your heart muscles an infusion of minerals that is necessary for its proper function.
So, no, the supposed mystical health qualities of cayenne pepper is not going to make you suddenly
start losing weight. It is complementary, though, to your weight loss efforts.
Let me explain how.
It will equalize the system and go to work on specifically the viscera and interior actions of the
circulatory, digestive, glandular, and lymphatic systems.
Cayenne pepper is also a "counter irritant" as it brings up to the surface of the blood toxins that
are then carried away.
It is also a rubefacient meaning it brings blood and the color red, of course, to the skin.
This doesn't help weight loss, but when taken internally, it has been used with great success as an
active stimulant to support and re-animate, to help give enhanced energy and rejuvenation.
That is probably the one result I hear from personal friends I've persuaded to take cayenne more
than anything else.
Increased energy is logical as the heart is literally immediately strengthened by the introduction
of cayenne pepper into the system. Having a healthy heart, a heart that pumps less but the same amount of blood,
means you have more energy.
This energy could give you more of an impetus to doing aerobic exercise and this exercise combined
with a lower calorie diet would allow you to lose weight faster.
In fact, in early 20th century France, during World War I, doctors used to give cayenne pepper to
their soliders as it helped relieve fatigue.
Notwithstanding its heat, it is not thermogenic in terms of causing such heat as to burn away fat.
That's not how it works.
Cayenne is a healthy stimulant, but it also has profound therapeutic properties as well, but
nothing so dramatic as to immediately cause you to lose weight.
The main ingredient in cayenne is called
capsaicin that can burn extra calories in your body in a way similar to exercise but it's not going to be
dramatic. Anyone who says otherwise is exaggerating or lying.
It will help, yes. At least one study has shown that now, but it shouldn't be thought of as the
Holy Grail of weight loss but rather as a complementary tool in the fitness enthusiast's toolbag.
After writing this article in 2008 or 2009, there has since been a study conducted that is very
intriguing. The following interpolation in this article highlights it along with additional commentary.
Are There Any Studies on Cayenne Pepper and Weight Loss?
Yes. There is a fantastic study that was conducted by Manchester Metropolitian University in
Manchester, England that is noteworthy. Let me quote from the study's abstract directly.
"Capsaicinoids are a group of chemicals found in chilli peppers, with bioactive properties. The
purpose of this study is to systematically review research investigating the potential benefits capsaicinoid
compounds may have in relation to weight management. Medical databases were
searched and 90 trials found, 20 of which were selected for inclusion, involving 563 participants. Three main areas
of potential benefit for weight management were found: (1) increased energy
expenditure; (2) increased lipid oxidation and (3) reduced appetite. Trial duration, dosage and sized varied,
though trials were generally of high quality with a low risk of bias. It was observed that consumption of
capsaicinoids increases energy expenditure by approximately 50 kcal/day, and that this would produce clinically
significant levels of weight loss in 1-2 years. It was also observed that
regular consumption significantly reduced abdominal adipose tissue levels and reduced appetite and energy intake.
The mechanism of action is not presently fully understood, although it is well accepted much of the effects are
caused by stimulation of the TRPV1 receptor. While capsaicinoids are not a magic bullet for weight loss, the evidence is that they could play a beneficial role, as part of a
weight management program" (Whiting, S., 2012, para. 1).
I like what the study's abstract says at the end, "While capsaicinoids are not a magic bullet for
weight loss, the evidence is that they could play a beneficial role, as part of a weight management program"
So, clearly, cayenne would be a wonderful supplement to assist in any "weight management
So, to wrap up, yes, cayenne pepper is a great herb, but it is not
going to produce significant, immediate weight loss. It is, however, a tremendous aid in bringing the whole system
into proper equilibrium and in better health.
That in turn will help facilitate weight loss. A diet high in vegetables, fruit and grains coupled
with exercise, visualization, planning and wise supplementation -- especially pharmaceutical-grade-quality
supplements -- are your best tools for weight loss.
I hope this answers your questions about cayenne pepper and weight loss.
Yours in health,
P.S. Lastly, if you're interested in supplementing or experimenting with cayenne, you can get more information
about buying good quality cayenne at this article within this site.
Little, Emma. (July 8, 2012). It’s The Red Hot Chilli Slimmers. Eating Spicy Food is a Three-way
Flab-fighter. Retrieved from http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4416606/Its-the-red-hot-chilli-slimmers.html.
Whiting S, Derbyshire E, Tiwari BK. Capsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic
review of the evidence. Appetite. 2012 Oct;59(2):341-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 May 22.