Capsaicin is a component of many of the best fat burners in the market. Although its name may seem strange and exotic, we can see capsaicine everywhere. It’s a natural chemical that has extraordinary power. What is capsaicin and how does it work?
Capsaicin is a chemical compound found in many products, responsible for the sharpness (spiciness). It has no odor and has the appearance of a colorless or orange liquid. It affects the nociceptors, that is the pain receptors, so that we feel the burning sensation, and in high concentrations even pain. It also activates the receptors responsible for the sensation of heat, so after ingestion of capsaicin we can feel the burning in our tongue or cheeks. Menthol works in a similar way, but the burning sensation is replaced by feeling of cold.
Capsaicin in its pure form is extremely spicy and according to Scolville’s scale it has 15 000 000 – 16 000 000 SHU units. For comparison, Tabasco’s popular sauce, considered to be relatively spicy, has just 3000-5000 SHU. It was first isolated in crystalline form by American chemist John Clough Thresh in 1876.
What is the Scolville scale?
Scolville’s scale is a spice unit used primarily for paprika. The SHU determines the dilution rate of the capsaicin extract, in which the spiciness is no longer perceptible. For pure capsaicin, this indicator is about 16,000,000 SHU (1:16 million), so one liter of capsaicin would have to be dissolved in 16,000,000 liters of liquid to make it disappear. The spiciest chilli pepper, named “Dragon’s Breath”, has 2,480,000 SHU in 2017.
How does capsaicin burn fat?
In addition to the taste, capsaicin has one additional advantage – it increases the fat burning process. How? First, it works thermogenically, that is, it raises the temperature of the body. After eating food with capsaicin, pain receptors are activated, and the body goes into battle with the source of pain. Elevated body temperature with adrenaline spike and noradrenaline require a lot of energy, so they accelerate metabolism. They also activate lipolysis of free fatty acids released from adipocytes (fat cells).
But this is not the end of capsaicins advantages. It has been proven that spicy foods fill us up faster and make us feel full for longer. In addition, capsaicin reduces appetite, and its source is peppers, or low calorie vegetables, rich in valuable nutrients (e.g. very high vitamin C intake). So it’s not surprising that the popularity of capsaicin in fat-boosting supplements. Its action is scientifically proven and not based on the placebo effect. Of course, it should be remembered that capsaicin only helps with weight loss and eating supplements will not replace a balanced diet.
What can we find capsaicin in?
Peppers are the main source of capsaicin. However, we need to reach for those sharper chilli peppers, because plain red peppers do not contain capsaicin. Pepperoni, Jalapeno, Piri-Piri or Habanero peppers are excellent sources. To add capsaicin to our meals, we can go for Cayenne pepper or with hot pepper sauce (eg Tabasco). Capsaicin can also be taken as dietary supplements. Fat burners are multifaceted and significantly improve the weight loss process. It’s important to remember that the inhibitor of capsaicin (which blocks its action) is casein, therefore for the most effective action, we should not combine capsaicin with milk products.
There are many reasons why you should use capsaicin. It enriches the taste, helps with weightloss, and according to recent reports it also has anti-cancer properties. Add capsaicin to your diet and your weight loss will be even more effective!