I really like spicy food. A lot. Though I appreciate a good habanero or ghost pepper, sometimes fresh peppers do not keep well. So I’m a bit of a connoisseur of hot sauces. Recently I ordered two bottles of Da Bomb, Ground Zero. At ~250,000 S coville units it’s spicy enough to satisfy me, but unlike the Final Answer it doesn’t seem positively dangerous (when I put the Final Answer on a burger, I ate with gloves on). I recommend readers who trust me in this area to check this hot sauce out, it’s a really good value for the price, and though it isn’t as flavorful as milder concoctions it doesn’t taste nearly as chemical as some of the Dave’s Insanity line.
Because of the high amount of spice that I consume I’m always looking out for the scientific implications of the consumption. On the whole it seems like it’s a wash in terms of the results, so I focus on the hedonic utility. But Nautilus Magazine has a infographic up, The New Superfood? Spice. The whole idea of a “superfood” is pretty fallacious in my opinion, but it points me to the research in question, a presentation today at the Biophysical Society meeting:
Obesity contributes to diabetes, hypertension and myocardial infarction. Exercise is an effective measure to counteract obesity. Recent research demonstrates a regulatory role of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Here, we evaluated the effects of exercise ± dietary capsaicin (CAP, 0.01% of total HFD), an active ingredient in natural chili peppers and a TRPV1 agonist, on HFD-fed wild type and TRPV1-/- (TRPV1 knockout) mice. We evaluated the performance of normal chow diet (NCD) or HFD (±CAP)-fed mice on computer-controlled rotarod. Trained mice were exercised for 12 min./day for five days a week. HFD+CAP-fed mice walked on the rotarod for a longer duration of the exercise regimen (630 ± 69 sec.) and showed lesser weight gain after 25 weeks of feeding (11.5 ± 2.1 g) compared to exercised HFD-fed mice (440 ± 215 sec.; 27.5 ± 2.1 g). Both sedentary and exercised HFD-fed groups exhibited similar weight gain, albeit an increase in food consumption shown by exercised HFD-fed group. Also, exercised HFD + CAP-fed mice showed an increased metabolic activity compared to exercised HFD-fed group. Further, NCD-fed WT mice walked for longer duration on the rotarod (704 ± 14 sec) and gained lesser weight at 20 weeks of feeding (4.5 ± 0.7 g) than NCD-fed TRPV1-/- mice (665 ± 50 sec.; 7.7 ± 2.1 g). CAP prevented weight gain to a similar extent in both sedentary and exercised wild type mice. Also, Dietary CAP improved the endurance of mice on rotarod and counteracted HFD-induced suppression of muscle coordination. This suggests a novel role of TRPV1 in metabolism and muscle coordination function. Collectively, our data provide evidence for the role of TRPV1 and its activation by dietary CAP and exercise to inhibit HFD-induced obesity
I’m not much into studies on mice, but those who know this area can tell me whether this is legit or not. As someone who is focused on burning the fat I’m quite happy that my consumption habits might be helping me stave off corpulence.