Capsinoids - the new Superfood

You may not have heard of capsinoids but there's a strong chance you've eaten them before.

Capsinoids are a group of compounds which are naturally present in foods like chilli pepper, cayenne pepper or paprika and sweet peppers. In contrast to their spicy sister, capsaicin, capsinoids are non-pungent and relatively tasteless.

Both capsaicin and capsinoids are getting a lot of attention due to their reported ability to effect weight management and energy expenditure.
According to research, capsinoids increase energy expenditure and decrease body fat [23298960]. One way that they do this is by activating fat burning brown fat cells [29381803].

As opposed to white fat cells, which are the storage type of fat cells we generally think of, brown fat cells are metabolically active fat cells which continuously generate heat and burn energy, even when you're not exercising. So, the more active these cells are, the higher your energy expenditure will be.

Research has found that capsinoids also reduce food intake by promoting satiety or feeling of fullness. In one report, the use of 2 mg of capsinoids before a meal was shown to reduce energy intake by 74 calories during the meal. Another report showed a decrease in waist to hip ratio after 6 weeks of daily intake [28235621]. To give you a better idea, that's roughly equivalent to eating just 7-10g of peppers per day.

Researchers also found that people falling within the over-weight or obese range of body mass index (BMI), benefited from the ingestion of capsaicin or capsinoids as it increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation. [22038945]
Capsinoids' effects are further compounded when combined with exercise. A recent study showed that daily supplementation of 12mg capsinoids increased muscle mass and upper body strength when combined with resistance training after 6 weeks [34154603].

Both capsaicin and capsinoids also provide beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects [12452665] [31947529]. So, simply increasing your intake of chilli pepper, cayenne pepper or paprika in small amounts by adding it to your cooking or swapping out your regular veggies for some sweet bell peppers may be beneficial to your overall health in both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect as well as weight loss.


Written by
Alannah Mezzatesta, BSc
Nutrition Scientist (ANutr)
 last updated  27th July 2022