Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Making the most of a meal
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Newts
Animals
Hearing Whales
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
Behavior
Meet your mysterious relative
Video Game Violence
Surprise Visitor
Birds
Birds We Eat
Finches
Rheas
Chemistry and Materials
The solar system's biggest junkyard
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Lighting goes digital
Computers
The science of disappearing
A Classroom of the Mind
Music of the Future
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Feathered Fossils
Teeny Skull Reveals Ancient Ancestor
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Watering the Air
Environment
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
What is groundwater
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Early Maya Writing
Fish
Catfish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Barracudas
Food and Nutrition
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
The Color of Health
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Scholarship
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
A New Touch
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Invertebrates
Daddy Long Legs
Sea Anemones
Centipedes
Mammals
Doberman Pinschers
Wolves
Dolphins
Parents
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Speedy stars
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Plants
Underwater Jungles
A Giant Flower's New Family
Surprise Visitor
Reptiles
Sea Turtles
Anacondas
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Sounds of Titan
Cousin Earth
Technology and Engineering
Smart Windows
A Clean Getaway
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Robots on the Road, Again
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Catching Some Rays
Warmest Year on Record
Where rivers run uphill
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™