This study found that those who did not consume red pepper regularly experienced a decrease of hunger, especially for fatty, salty and sweet foods.
"The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect. Once it becomes familiar to people, it loses its efficacy. The finding that there is a difference between users and non-users is novel and requires further study to determine how long it will be effective and how to adjust the diet to improve continuous effectiveness."
The failure to account for individual differences in liking the burn of chili peppers may explain why some previous studies varied on capsaicin's impact on appetite suppression and thermogenic response, which is an increase in body heat produced when digesting food.
Mattes said the findings also show that red pepper should be consumed in non-capsule form because the taste - the sensory experience - maximizes the digestive process.
"That burn in your mouth is responsible for that effect," he said. "It turns out you get a more robust effect if you include the sensory part because the burn contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control."
Mattes, who specializes in taste and directs Purdue's Ingestive Behavior Research Center, studies the role taste plays in feeding and digestion.
"Taste works on two very different levels," he said. "First, it determines the palatability of foods, and that influences food choice. Second, it influences physiology, so it alters how you digest foods and the efficiency with which you absorb the nut
|Contact: Amy Patterson Neubert|