17 Jul Study Finds Capsaicin (Metabocin) in Chili Peppers Prevents Weight Gain, Promotes Weight Loss
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Baskaran Thyagarajan, M. Pharm., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics and Neuroscience
Molecular Signaling Laboratory
University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy
Laramie, Wyoming 82071
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The culinary benefit of chili peppers is known for decades. Previous research works have identified the benefits of chili peppers for treating pain and metabolic diseases. Recently, we have discovered that CAPSAICIN, the chief ingredient in natural chili peppers, triggers the conversion of energy storing white adipocytes into energy expending brown like (Beige or brown in white, BRiTE, cells). This increases thermogenesis and counters high fat diet-induced obesity without modifying energy intake (in other words, without causing appetite suppression).
Our published research clearly demonstrates the expression of capsaicin receptor in the white and brown adipose tissues and activation of these receptors (TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1) by capsaicin underlies its anti-obesity effect. Since capsaicin is pungent, we have developed a polymer coated orally bioavailable formulation of capsaicin. This polymer coating decreases the burst release of capsaicin, which reduces its pungency. Also, the polymer coating sustains the release of capsaicin for longer period of time, which will enhance its (capsaicin’s) bioavailability in the body.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
- Capsaicin (Metabocin) prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity.
- Oral feeding of capsaicin induces the browning of white adipose tissues and activates brown fat thermogenesis.
- Our preclinical toxicology/safety analyses suggest that capsaicin is well tolerated and safe in mice. Therefore, it can be used in humans after performing long-term safety, PK PD studies and efficacy analyses in humans.
- 4. Polymer coated capsaicin (Metabocin) will provide a long lasting effect. It will decrease the frequency of administration and increase compliance.
- Capsaicin counters non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a comorbidity associated with diet-induced obesity.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: It is important to know that a specific, calculated human dose of pure capsaicin, will be beneficial for preventing/treating diet-induced obesity and metabolic complications associated with obesity. However, eating chili peppers may be beneficial but it is not possible to get the appropriate dose of capsaicin via chili peppers. This is because various chili peppers contain varying amount of capsaicin. So, readers should appreciate the differences between using chili peppers versus capsaicin as Metabocin for healthy weight management. Our published scientific peer reviewed research suggests the anti-obesity effect of capsaicin and our current research contributes for its long-term safety and efficacy in mice.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We are aware of the importance of demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Metabolic in humans. Currently, we are actively seeking federal grants and private foundation support to advance our findings in mice to humans. We want to perform proper clinical trials to analyze the safety, Pharmacokinetics and efficacy of Metabocin in humans. We have already submitted and will be submitting, grant applications seeking federal, public and private funds for advancing our research. Using Metabocin is novel and beneficial since it is derived from a natural product, exhibits decreased burst release and therefore reduced pungency, which will help counter metabolic diseases like obesity and fatty liver disease in humans.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: We want to add here that we already have two US patents (INVIPAR) on an injectable formulation of capsaicin for site-specific obesity therapy. We are also conducting studies to develop novel formulations of either capsaicin or other drug molecules for treating acute/chronic pain and cancer, apart from obesity. We thank the support from the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association for the research support. We hope to receive continued research support from these and other organizations to advance Metabocin and other drug molecules/formulations for treating human diseases. We thank the SSIB for the press release.
Abstract: Pharmacological and Safety Analyses of Subchronic Oral Metabocin™ Feeding in Mice
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