A compound in peppers called dihydrocapsiate (DCT) may help promote weight loss, researchers reporte...

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A compound in peppers called dihydrocapsiate (DCT) may help promote weight loss, researchers reported at the annual Experimental Biology Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. DCT is structurally similar to capsaicin, another constituent found in hot peppers.
Fifty-one obese adults were enrolled in the study. All participants followed a liquid meal-replacement diet that included just 800 calories daily. They were randomly assigned to take a DCT capsule (either three or nine milligrams) or a placebo daily for four weeks. Many participants reported difficulty following the low-calorie diet, and only 33 completed the study.
At the beginning and end of the trial period, the researchers measured the metabolic rate and energy expenditure (or heat production) of the participants after they each ate a 400-calorie liquid test meal. People who took nine milligrams of DCT experienced significant increases in energy expenditure and burned more fat than the control group.
Although these early results are promising, additional research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of DCT.
Peppers in general have traditionally been used for various medical conditions. For instance, the German Commission E has approved cayenne as a topical ointment for the relief of painful muscle spasms. Research also suggests that cayenne may help treat lower back pain, post-operative pain and post-operative nausea.

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