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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Dec;95(6):2408-15. Epub 2003 Sep 5.

Upregulation of uncoupling proteins by oral administration of capsiate, a nonpungent capsaicin analog.

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Laboratory of Nutrition Chemistry, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto Univ., Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Capsiate is a nonpungent capsaicin analog, a recently identified principle of the nonpungent red pepper cultivar CH-19 Sweet. In the present study, we report that 2-wk treatment of capsiate increased metabolic rate and promoted fat oxidation at rest, suggesting that capsiate may prevent obesity. To explain these effects, at least in part, we examined uncoupling proteins (UCPs) and thyroid hormones. UCPs and thyroid hormones play important roles in energy expenditure, the maintenance of body weight, and thermoregulation. Two-week treatment of capsiate increased the levels of UCP1 protein and mRNA in brown adipose tissue and UCP2 mRNA in white adipose tissue. This dose of capsiate did not change serum triiodothyronine or thyroxine levels. A single dose of capsiate temporarily raised both UCP1 mRNA in brown adipose tissue and UCP3 mRNA in skeletal muscle. These results suggest that UCP1 and UCP2 may contribute to the promotion of energy metabolism by capsiate, but that thyroid hormones do not.

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