Indian scientists find a way to enhance fat-burning capacity of chilli


Indian scientists find a way to enhance fat-burning capacity of chilli

Chilli’s fat-burning capacity

Mysuru, October 29 (India
Science Wire):  Capsaicin, an active
ingredient of chilli, is known to have anti-obesity or fat reducing
. Now Indian scientists have figured out how this property of
capsaicin can enhance the effect of obesity-related hormones.

Researchers of
CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) here have found that
capsaicin – the hot factor present in chillies – could increase the effect of
obestatin and thus help reduce fat in the body. Obestatin is a hormone which
sends ‘stop eating’ signals. 

The hormone, produced in
the digestive system, affects food intake by signaling through the brain. It affects
accumulation of glycerolipids through what biochemists term as PPAR-gamma
signaling.  It is one of the many satiety
factors that send messages to the brain saying the belly is full. The capsaicin
seems to increase the effect of obestatin, explained Dr. Uma V. Manjappara, the
lead scientist.

Capsaicin helps reduce fat !

Capsaicin helps reduce fat
by goading cells to increase secretion of catecholamines, which bind to the
proteins called beta-adrenergic receptors that trigger higher rate of
metabolism.  This triggers browning of
adipose tissue, thus reducing the obesity. 
Hence, it is also considered a nutraceutical or a beneficial drug in the

“We thought that if both
the hormone and nutraceuticals are fed together, the latter can act in unison
with obestatin and enhance the fat digestion further,” said Dr. Manjappara.  

This premise was tested in cultured fat cells called 3T3-L1 cells which
are generally used in studying obesity.

The team cultured 3T3-L1
cells in the presence of either obestatin or obestatin along with capsaicin and
genistein.  Genistein is another
nutraceutical that is present in soya bean and that affects fat accumulation.
The team compared the effects of capsaicin and genistein with or without
obestatin after 14 days for various parameters like proportion of cells
completing their growth to adipocytes and accumulation of triglycerides.

“Fourteen days are
required for the immature fat cells to grow and become mature fat cells,” says
Dr. Uma. The team also studied activity of lipases, a class of enzymes that is
involved in the digestion of fats.  Capsaicin
and genistein are known to increase the production of hormone sensitive lipase,
lipoprotein lipase and the production of the PPAR-gamma proteins.

“In all the experiments,
the ability of both capsaicin and genistein to increase the production of
hormone sensitive lipase, lipoprotein lipase and the upregulation of the PPAR-gamma
receptor were seen. This means effect of both additives is beneficial. But when
capsaicin or genistein were added along with obestatin, the amount of
triglycerides produced in the cells were 20-25 percent lower than when
obestatin alone is used,” explained Dr Manjappara.

The combination seems to
work better than obestatin alone or either of the nutraceuticals.  Why is it so is still a not well understood.
However, ‘that the capsaicin and genistein could still increase the level of
lipases in the cells could be the reason that extra fat was metabolized in
cells with these two additives’, says Dr. Manjappara.

The research findings were published in a recent issue of journal Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics.

The team consisted of Dr. Uma Manjappara and her student Musunuru Suneel Kumar Reddy.

Kollegala Sharma

(India Science Wire)

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