ADDING some spice to your life could help you lose weight, according to research.
In a paper published by the journal Appetite, PhD researcher Stephen Whiting, from Manchester Metropolitan University, said that chillies could help dieters in three ways.
In his research into the effect of the chemical capsaicin – which is what makes chillies taste hot – on weight loss, he found that the spicy peppers not only increase the body’s metabolism and help burn more calories but also tell the body to burn lipids – meaning fat stores are reduced – and reduce the appetite.
The calorie-burning capsaicin works by causing an adrenaline release similar to that created by the body’s own ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, which increases energy expenditure and reduces the appetite.
Furthermore, the chillies also affect the body’s hormone level, to further reduce appetite.
However the reason for the targeted burning of lipids has yet to be uncovered.
“If you eat chilli consistently for a good period of time, yes it will help you lose weight,” said Mr Whiting.
“I also found that it has its greatest effect on central obesity, that is, the fat found round the stomach, which is the unhealthiest type of fat.”
While interest in the effect of chillies on weight loss started around a decade ago, the 31 year-old, who is originally from Bristol and now lives in Sale, says this is the first time all the research has been pulled together to find the triple action of capsaicin on weight loss.
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
The University educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. It enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research and is a recognised innovator in partnership working with its local communities. The University is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.