The secret to slimming down might be hidden inside spicy chili peppers.
Researchers at University of Wyoming believe the fiery capsaicin found in chili peppers can potentially ultimately override a diet that is high in fat.
According to Medical Daily, researchers at the Baskilab in Wyoming added 0.01 per cent of capsaicin to the high-fat diet of lab mice and found the weight of the mice plateaued in those that carried the protein TRPV1 or transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, despite the consumption of fatty foods.
Researchers believe that the capsaicin converts fat-storing white cells into fat-burning brown cells through a process of thermogenics, the same process that occurs during excercise.
Baskilab researchers intend to continue their research in hopes of developing a dietary supplement which will combat obesity, announcing "this will advance a novel dietary supplement-based approach to prevent and treat one of the life-threatening diseases, obesity and its associated complications -- in humans."
While Baskilab's study suggests a small dose of capsaicin can even override the calories and saturated fat in a big batch of spicy chicken wings, for example, we can't help but think it would be more effective mixed into a healthy bowl of hummus. And don't go tossing those seeds and ribs either — according to the Chicago Tribune, 80 per cent of the capsaicin in a pepper comes from those fiery insides.
If that's not enough to get you chowing down on some chilis, capsaicin is also touted for its ability to reduce the risk of colorectal tumors, cool heartburn, and suppress the formation of ulcers.
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