Although capsaicin, found in all hot peppers, is known to provide a burning sensation that is a bit too much to handle, taking capsaicin pills can do several wonders for the body. The article to come will reveal its health benefits, along with some points that you should give careful thought to.
Capsaicin is the primary active component of the chili pepper family. They are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is responsible for giving chili its distinctive ‘hotness’. It causes a burning sensation in the mouth and the mucous membrane when eaten. Due to this property, it is used as a flavoring agent and is a common spice that figures in many Indian, Mexican, and Thai cuisines. Epidemiological surveys have revealed that among those who habitually consume chilies, it is the Chinese, who have a greater probability (three times more) of developing gastric ulcers, than Malaysians and Indians.
There are many recent uses of capsaicin that have been discovered. Due to its many benefits, it is now available in the form of pills.
Potential Benefits for …
.. Weight Loss
Capsaicin pills have created quite a stir due to their ability in aiding weight loss. Apart from the powerful heat that capsaicin is able to generate after having a meal spiced with chilies, it can elicit a rise in our body temperature, which causes sweating; in other words, it stimulates the overall body system. This temporary heat gained is said to up the metabolism levels in our body, thereby aiding weight loss. Simply put, capsaicin is a thermogenic agent, which has the ability to increase the metabolic rate of the body and so, helps burn fat.
Apart from helping to lose weight, capsaicin also assists in the digestion of carbohydrates. It stimulates the stomach and intestine, thus increasing their peristaltic activity. This in turn, keeps the blood sugar levels in check while the food is getting digested. As mentioned above, it also increases the metabolic rate of the body, which is another important factor that assists in the digestion process. Thus, food processed efficiently will do a good turn to the body.
.. Inflammatory Diseases
It has been claimed that capsaicin pills may help in treating chronic inflammatory disorders, like osteoarthritis or joint pain. Capsaicin has a slight anti-inflammatory potential, as it prevents the production and circulation of substance P, which is responsible for causing pain and inciting an inflammatory reaction. Studies are still being conducted to find out whether capsaicin pills can be used to treat such conditions.
.. Sinusitis and Nasal Congestion
Often, we observe that on eating very spicy food, our eyes start watering. Well, capsaicin is so hot that it has the potential to stimulate secretions and so, helps to clear out the mucus from the nose, too. Thus, it relieves nasal congestion and a blocked nose. It is said that these pills also help to relieve sinusitis, which develops due to an allergy.
Many preliminary animal studies have demonstrated the impact that capsaicin has on cancer (prostate and pancreas) cells. It appears that capsaicin targets a protein complex called NF-kappa B, because of which tumor shrinkage is noticed. Similar studies have shown that it is also capable of disrupting the mitochondria (major energy source), thereby attacking lung and pancreatic cancer cells, while healthy cells remain untouched. However, there is some hope that in the future, these pills may be used, if not to cure cancer, then to at least mitigate the severity of the symptoms of cancer.
- Capsaicin is known to help in maintaining your heart health, thereby lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
- These pills are also used as adjuncts to bring high blood pressure to normal and maintain the same.
- Due to its heat-generating ability, capsaicin could also aid in warming the body in situations where there is extreme cold or hypothermia.
- These pills can stimulate the blood flow, thus improving blood circulation.
- Intake of too many pills could lead to an upset stomach, or could even deter the function of the kidneys and liver.
- As capsaicin has the ability to generate a lot of heat, it is advisable to garner an expert consult before you take these pills, in case you are already suffering from ulcers or a heartburn.
- Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking these pills, as capsaicin can find its way through breast milk and may harm the unborn child, if present in large quantities.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is purely for informative purposes, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.