Agriculture
Fast-flying fungal spores
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Salamanders
Toads
Animals
Saving Africa's Wild Dogs
Missing Moose
Monkeys Count
Behavior
Lost Sight, Found Sound
Night of the living ants
Brainy bees know two from three
Birds
Ibises
Falcons
Quails
Chemistry and Materials
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
A Framework for Growing Bone
Diamond Glow
Computers
Earth from the inside out
Lighting goes digital
Hubble trouble doubled
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging Dinos
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
A Volcano Wakes Up
Earth Rocks On
Unnatural Disasters
Environment
Ready, unplug, drive
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Finding the Past
Meet your mysterious relative
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Stonehenge Settlement
Fish
White Tip Sharks
Flounder
Great White Shark
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Food for Life
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Detecting True Art
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
A Better Flu Shot
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Flu Patrol
Invertebrates
Centipedes
Earthworms
Sea Urchin
Mammals
African Jackal
Giant Panda
Sea Lions
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Gaining a Swift Lift
Plants
Springing forward
Fast-flying fungal spores
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Black Mamba
Crocodilians
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
The two faces of Mars
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
Ready, Set, Supernova
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Reach for the Sky
Shape Shifting
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
Transportation
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Robots on the Road, Again
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Add your Article

A Pepper Part that Burns Fat

Diet fads come and go, but in the end, there’s really only one rule for losing weight: Burn more energy than you consume. In April, scientists from California reported on a chemical that might help people burn fat. It’s called dihydrocapsiate, it comes from a pepper, and in a recent study it was shown to boost the body’s energy burn.

Its name, dihydrocapsiate (di-HI-droh-CAP-see-ate), isn’t easy to say. And Peter Piper never picked it. But it might be easy to find: It is a chemical cousin of capsaicin (kap-SAY-sin), the chemical that makes chili peppers so hot. But unlike its fiery family members, dihydrocapsiate won’t send you running for a glass of water if you eat it. In fact, you won’t even know it’s in your body.

Painful foods — like the ones that contain capsaicin — stimulate pain receptors in the mouth. Once stimulated by a fiery food, these pain receptors signal nerves, which send a message to the brain. Dihydrocapsiate, however, is too big to fit into the receptors and tickle those nerve endings, which means it enters and passes through the body without causing pain.

David Heber, a scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles reported on the dihydrocapsiate research in April during a meeting of scientists who study nutrition. He and his colleagues tested the chemical on 33 obese men and women. For four weeks, these volunteers consumed only 800 calories per day, and all of those calories came from a nutritious liquid, instead of from solid foods. These liquids did not contain any fat.

At every meal, the participants were also given pills. People in one group received pills that didn’t do anything. Drugs that don’t do anything are called placebos, and they help experimenters figure out whether the drug being tested really works. Other participants were given a small dose of dihydrocapsiate. Finally, other participants were given a high dose of dihydrocapsiate.

All of the pills looked the same, so neither the participants nor the doctors knew who had consumed placebos and who had consumed the pepper chemical.

After the end of the dihydrocapsiate-enhanced (or placebo-“enhanced”) diet, the scientists determined how much fat the participants were burning.

The scientists observed that not everyone burned the same amount of fat. People who were given high doses of dihydrocapsiate were burning more body fat than people who had been given placebos, UCLA’s Heber says. So much more, he says, that the people taking high doses of dihydrocapsiate may have been losing one more pound per month than the people taking placebos. But that’s a guess: The scientists didn’t measure that number, so they don’t know for sure.

Heber and his team think that the pepper chemical works by attaching itself to another type of receptor, this one in a person’s gut. This receptor helps send a message to the brain, which then starts a process that causes a body to burn, burn, burn calories. This process is the same that, when triggered by capsaicin, causes some people to sweat while they eat hot foods. The scientists say that capsaicin could have the same effect as the dihydrocapsiate, but capsaicin causes intense pain to a person’s mouth and gut.

Dihydrocapsiate could help people lose weight, delivering the positive effects of hot peppers without the fiery side effects. In theory, the chemical could be consumed safely and help a 100-pound person burn an extra 160 calories per day.

Of course, it would be very easy to undo these sizzling effects with one slice of cake or a sugary soft drink. A chemical like dihydrocapsiate may help a person burn more than he consumes — but it can’t change a person’s eating habits.

“As I always say,” Heber told Science News, “a supplement doesn’t make up for diet.”

A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
A pepper part that burns fat








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™