Capsaicin and energy balance

A. Tremblay*, M.S. Westerterp-Plantenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article in journalAcademicpeer-review


The current obesity epidemic that is observed in many countries suggests that a modern way of living complicates the regulation of energy balance, be it by promoting an excess energy intake over expenditure or by reducing the functionality of the systems involved in this regulation. Accordingly, obesity prevention and treatment require the use of various strategies to counteract these effects. In this regard, the supplementation of capsaicin as an agent to alter energy and fat balance has been the object of many laboratory studies in both humans and animals. As described in this paper, capsaicin can realistically be perceived as a bioactive agent that can produce significant metabolic changes, ultimately favouring a negative energy and fat balance and a decrease in body fatness in animals. Well-controlled human laboratory studies also support this concept and thus raise optimism regarding the use of capsaicin to facilitate appetite control and body weight stability in humans. However, the rare clinical observations currently available to document this issue suggest that the beneficial metabolic effects of capsaicin do not permit to make a difference in post-obese individuals who have to maintain the fat loss achieved in the context of a weight-reducing program.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages7
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
EventInternational Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegatables -
Duration: 1 Jan 20071 Jan 2007

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