A Spice that Boosts Fat Burning

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Do you want to burn more fat? Adding a little chilli powder to your diet could help. A new study shows that a compound found in chilli peppers could promote fat loss – naturally.

Chili peppers for fat burning? This idea isn’t new. Studies show that a component in chilli peppers called capsaicin can fire up the metabolic furnaces – but capsaicin isn’t the only ingredient in chilli compounds that boosts fat burning. Researchers have discovered that a different chilli compound called dihydrocapsiate or DCT also stimulates the breakdown of fat.

Researchers put this concept to the test by placing 34 women and women on a low-calorie meal replacement liquid for 28 days. Some of them received three and some received nine milligrams of a DCT supplement, while the rest received a placebo. How did they fare? After having their oxygen and carbon dioxide levels when they inhaled and exhaled, the researchers were able to get a measure of how fast they burned fat. The rate of fat burning doubled in the groups who received the DCT supplements.

How does this chilli compound boost fat burning? It binds with a receptor in the gut that signals the brain to stimulate fat burning through a complex series of events. DCT starts this chain of reactions that ultimately leads to greater amounts of fat being burned – and, potentially, more weight loss.

Unlike capsaicin, another chilli compound that boosts fat burning, DCT isn’t spicy hot and won’t cause irritation of the digestive tract – unlike capsaicin which is sold in supplement form by many health food stores. Some people have a hard time tolerating the capsaicin in chilli peppers. Researchers are hoping that this unique chilli compound can be combined with other compounds to give even greater fat-burning benefits.

The bottom line? Whether or not DCT proves to be effective as a fat burner in larger studies, it won’t take the place of a healthy diet and regular exercise – though it could make the battle a little easier to win. In the meantime, try sprinkling a little chilli powder into soups and other recipes. At the very least, the spiciness could help reduce how much you eat.

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