Capsaicin as a bodybuilding supplement for fat loss. Does it work?
It seems that everyone has a product on the market that is said to promote fat loss. More and more manufacturers are cashing in on the public’s infatuation and obsession with fat loss. Body builders, however, tread a little more lightly. Because their bodies are their fortunes, their identities, they are more careful about the bodybuilding supplements that they take, the food that they eat as well as nutrition. Many tend to lean toward natural bodybuilding supplements simply because they have aversions to putting synthetic materials into their bodies. Capsaicin is a popular fat loss supplement that many bodybuilders swear by. But just how effective is it?
Capsaicin is the stuff in chili peppers that makes them hot. It is a known irritant for humans and animals, best known for it burning sensation in any tissue that it touches. Pure capsaicin is colorless, odorless and has a texture that is crystalline to waxy. It is the active ingredient in pepper spray, the chemical riot control agent. On the dinner table, it is used to give foods a little “heat.” In the weight room, however, capsaicin is being used as a method of fat loss.
Scientists in Taiwan have found that capsaicin can cause fat cells to self destruct. In laboratory tests, scientists used preadipocytes, cells that develop into fat cells, as their subjects. They created a capsaicin extract in the lab and infused the fat, contained in test tubes, with the extract for a period of eight days. Every other day they freshened the extract. The result was that the preadipocytes that were exposed to the capsaicin died off before they could develop into fat cells. The results of the experiment appeared in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
Of course, the jury is still out on Capsaicin. As natural supplements go, there is no governing body that regulates it so any claims made are not backed by what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems to be “conclusive evidence.” However, scientists the world over are conducting studies to link capsaicin to weight loss and the results that are coming in look fairly promising. Studies show that Capsaicin can prevent new fat cells from forming as well as decrease the appetite and reduce fat in the body.
Another study used humans to test the effects of capsaicin on fat in the human body. Each subject was tested for metabolic rate and measured prior to the study. Additionally, they were measured and their metabolic rate measured every half hour after taking the extract or after taking placebo tablets. Weight and body fat was also measured in the subjects. This study was performed over a two week period.
The findings of the study revealed that the subjects who took the capsaicin experienced a significant increase in their mean metabolic rate at 30 minutes and 60 minutes after taking the extract. Throughout the study that ranged a two week period, body fat was reduced in 70% of the subjects who had taken the capsaicin extract. The greatest effect of reduction of body fat occurred in those subjects who began the study with higher fat content at the onset. The subjects experienced a loss in fat, not water, based on hand held body fat measuring devices.
Capsaicin is one of the oldest natural body building supplements that has been used to a variety of conditions. It can be found in capsule form, liquid and even a nasal spray. The liquid form of capsaicin (as well as the nasal spray), manufactured by SiCap Industries, used a special hot pepper extract to promote weight loss. The formula includes feverfew and green tea extract. It is intended to boost metabolism, increase circulation, and decrease body fat. The liquid is in a spray form that can be sprayed on foods like fish, chicken or salads, or sprayed directly on the tongue.
The Jury is Still Out