Agriculture
Springing forward
Middle school science adventures
Silk’s superpowers
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Toads
Animals
Roach Love Songs
The Secret Lives of Grizzlies
Hearing Whales
Behavior
Wired for Math
Girls are cool for school
Chimpanzee Hunting Tools
Birds
Flamingos
Hawks
Albatrosses
Chemistry and Materials
Small but WISE
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Salt secrets
Computers
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Music of the Future
Nonstop Robot
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
Dinosaurs Grow Up
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Bugs with Gas
Less Mixing Can Affect Lake's Ecosystem
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
Environment
Where rivers run uphill
Blooming Jellies
Missing Tigers in India
Finding the Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
The Taming of the Cat
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Fish
Barracudas
Angler Fish
Carp
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math of the World
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
Electricity's Spark of Life
Taste Messenger
Nature's Medicines
Invertebrates
Jellyfish
Lice
Lobsters
Mammals
Asian Elephants
African Ostrich
African Mammals
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Physics
Road Bumps
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Plants
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Springing forward
Nature's Alphabet
Reptiles
Sea Turtles
Black Mamba
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Slip-sliding away
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
Technology and Engineering
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Flying the Hyper Skies
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Watering the Air
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™