The public and healthcare providers are interested in incorporating healthy bioactive foods to manage weight and combat some of the negative consequences of obesity.Research suggests that food containing capsaicin, a bioactive ingredient in peppers, may be used as a tool for anti-obesity therapy through thermogenic effects, macronutrient increased fat/CHO oxidation ratio, negative energy balance, appetite regulation, and improved insulin sensitivity. The aim of the presented study was to determine the effects of capsaicin (cayenne pepper) added to a breakfast meal on the acute changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR), substrate oxidation, and glucose metabolism


Ten healthy adults (4M/6F; aged 21-42 years, BMI 21-33 kg/m2) were measured on two separate days. RMR, RQ and blood glucose was measuredbefore and every 30 minutes for 2 hrs after the consumption of a breakfast with or without the addition of 8.20g cayenne pepper. RMR and RQ were measured using a Metabolic Cart (QuarkRMR, Cosmed Inc)


There was no significant difference in baseline RMR and fasting blood glucose levels between the two test days (p = 0.51 and p = 0.61 respectively). The average increase in RMRwas 464 kcal/24h and 378 kcal/24h, for cayenne pepper and control, respectively (p = 0.025). There were no significant differences in changes in postprandial substrate oxidation, maximum blood glucose, and area under the curve between the two test days.


The results of this study suggest that the addition of cayenne pepper to a meal will result in a higher thermogenic response to a meal and can potentially play a role in weight control