Background

Capsinoids and capsaicinoids, the most abundant metabolically active compounds in chili peppers have been shown to have important metabolic activity through activation of TRPV1 receptors it is not yet known if the effect can be improved by a combination of these compounds.

Methods

24 Male Wistar rats were randomized into 4 experimental groups (n=6). Obesity was induced by giving a hypercaloric diet consisting of high fat chow (D12451 Research Diets) and 30% sucrose in drinking water for 16 weeks. Pharmacological treatment was performed as follows: Capsaicin and capsiate groups were treated with 0.075% topical capsaicin, 0.1% capsiate or combination for 28 days. Water, food consumption and body weight were measured daily. After treatment, the animals were killed by decapitation; blood, abdominal adipose tissue and soleus muscle were extracted and subject to biochemical and molecular assays.

Results

Treatments significantly increased (p<0.5) transcription of AMPK compared to placebo. Body weight was significantly decreased (p<0.05) by capsaicin and the combination while capsiate only prevented weight gain in obese animals. Glucose, total Cholesterol and Triglycerides were significantly decreased (p<0.05) by the treatments compared to placebo. Treatments significantly decreased (0.05) adipose cell diameter compared to placebo. The combination showed improved results in all assays compared to individual treatments.

Conclusions

The combination of capsaicin and capsiate showed significant improvements compared to placebo and the individual treatments. Dose-response trials have yet to be performed to properly develop a more efficient formulation to improve body weight and metabolic parameters.