A combination of capsaicin and green tea could promote the
feeling of fullness and sustain satiety, indicating it could
be successful for weight management, says a new study.
Researchers from Denmark and the Netherlands report sweet pepper
may also reduce energy intake during positive energy balance,
according to findings of their 27-person study published in
We conclude that thermogenic food ingredients have energy
intake reducing effects when used in combinations, and in positive
energy balance, wrote the researchers, led by Professor
Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga from Maastricht University.
These results suggest that bioactive ingredients (capsaicin,
green tea, CH-19) may be helpful in reducing energy intake to
prevent body weight gain and may support body weight loss by
relatively sustaining satiety and suppressing hunger,
The research taps into the burgeoning weight loss and management
market, estimated to already be worth $7bn (€5.2bn) globally.
It also has implications for diabetes.
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).
Westerterp-Plantenga and her co-workers recruited 27 people
with an average age of 27 and an average BMI of 22.2 kg/m2,
and randomised them to three weeks of negative (less calories
consumed than used) and three weeks of positive energy balance
(more calories consumed than used). During these periods ten
separate test days were used to test the effects of capsaicin,
green tea, CH-19 sweet pepper, capsaicin plus green tea, or
placebo on appetite, energy intake, body weight and heart rate.
Only the CH-19 and the capsaicin plus green tea combinations
produced a reduction in energy intake during the positive energy
balance period. Moreover, the combined supplement produced suppressed
hunger and increased satiety, and this was greater during negative
than positive energy balance, wrote the researchers. This indicated
that energy balance did not affect energy intake but did affect
Commenting on the mechanism, the researchers note that both
catechins and caffeine in green tea may be behind the effects,
with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) previously noted to reduced
food intake and body weight in rats.
On the use of capsaicin the researchers note that long-term
intervention is hardly possible and results in bad compliance,
and that CH-19 sweet pepper, which is non-pungent, could be
an attractive alternative to capsaicin.
Since CH-19 sweet pepper was an efficient suppressor
of energy intake it would be of interest to investigate if a
combination of CH-19 sweet pepper and green tea leads to a similar
synergistic effect on energy intake, wrote Westerterp-Plantenga
and her co-workers.
Capsaicin only increases liking of the food when used
at lower concentrations, and one can only comply with a relatively
small dosage of capsaicin over the longer term.
Therefore we suggest that a lower dosage of capsaicin
should be combined with other bioactive ingredients (e.g. CH-19
sweet pepper) in order to reach optimal effects, they