way to enhance fat-burning capacity of chilli
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Way to Enhance Fat-Burning Capacity Of Chilli Found By Indian Scientists

Capsaicin is an active ingredient of chilli which is known to have anti-obesity or fat-reducing properties. Now Indian scientists from CSIR-CFTRI have figured out how this fat reducing property of capsaicin can enhance the effect of obesity related hormones.

Scientists 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 & thus help to reduce fat in the body. Obestatin hormone sends ‘stop eating’ signals.

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

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

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The team 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 the 3T3-L1 cells which are generally used in studying obesity.

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

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

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

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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 2 additives’, said Dr. Manjappara.

The study findings were published in a recent issue of journal Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics. The research team consisted of Dr. Uma Manjappara & her student Musunuru Suneel Kumar Reddy.

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Editor’s Note: New Way to Enhance Fat-Burning Capacity Of Chilli By Indian Scientists, Way to Enhance Fat-Burning Capacity Of Chilli Found By Indian Scientists, Capsaicin, an active ingredient of chilli, anti-obesity or fat reducing properties, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).

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Ria Roy completed her Post Grad degree at the Visvesvaraya Technological University. She has a great grounding in the skills, including technical, analytical and research skills. She is a motivated life science professional with experience of working in famous research institutes