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Hot pepper compound may reduce obesity


Researchers used the active compound that gives hot peppers their spiciness to develop an anti-obesity drug. The treatment proved successful in mice.

Chili peppers contain an ingredient that could help treat obesity, if it is harnessed correctly.

Capsaicin is the reason that chili peppers are spicy.

The compound has pain-reducing properties and interacts with the peripheral part of our nervous system.

This led researchers to test it as a potential drug for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and various neuropathies.

Recently, innovative studies have suggested that the compound may have even more surprising benefits.

In fact, some revealed that this molecule can successfully stop breast cancer cells from multiplying.

Now, a new study adds another bullet point to the list of capsaicin’s healthy effects. The compound was used to develop a drug that successfully tackled obesity in mice.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Baskaran Thyagarajan, from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy in Laramie, designed metabocin, which is a drug that releases capsaicin slowly over the course of 24 hours.

Dr. Thyagarajan and colleagues tested the effect of metabocin in mice and presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, held in Bonita Springs, FL.

The study abstract was also published in the Biophysical Journal. The researchers administered metabocin orally to wild-type mice that had been fed a high-fat diet. They also examined the rodents’ blood plasma levels for markers of metabolic health — such as liver and kidney function — and took the mice’s blood pressure.

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