Chiles Choice for Chow

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Chiles Choice for Chow

If you like your food on the spicy side, then you are probably a fan of chili peppers – which is a good thing, because the spicy little guys not only taste great, but they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals. Chilies can even be used for pain management, and of course, they’re quite pretty to look at. But, did you know chili peppers can help you lose weight?

Dr. Susumu Yazawa, a research scientist at Japan’s Kyoto University, recently bred a new chili variety called the “CH-19 Sweet” which itself is not hot, but which does contain capsinoids, little non-spicy molecules similar to capsaicin – the stuff that gives traditional chili peppers their fiery kick.

And these capsinoids have been shown to rev up the body’s metabolic engine, which burns fat. Dr. Yazawa’s research showed that capsinoids promote weight loss not only in mice, but also in people, meaning they could eventually help in the treatment of obesity.

To this end, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana is conducting a four-week clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of capsinoid supplements for increasing metabolism and reducing body fat. In the meantime, the U.S. division of Japanese food giant Ajinomoto is offering a soft-gel form of the CH-19 Sweet capsinoid under the name Capsiate Natura — but so far it’s only available from health care professionals, and only in the New York metro area.

Pending wider distribution, your best bet may be to enjoy chili peppers the traditional way – as part of a healthy diet with some tongue-tingling spice.

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