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Eur J Nutr. 2009 Jun;48(4):229-34. doi: 10.1007/s00394-009-0006-1. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

The acute effects of a lunch containing capsaicin on energy and substrate utilisation, hormones, and satiety.

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Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Addition of capsaicin to the diet has been shown to increase satiety and thermogenesis. The effects of capsaicin on ghrelin, peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), in relation to changes in hunger and satiety are unknown.


To test the acute effects of a lunch containing capsaicin on gut derived hormones (GLP-1, ghrelin, and PYY), energy expenditure (EE), substrate oxidation and satiety at lunch in the postprandial state.


Thirty subjects (age: 31 +/- 14 years, BMI: 23.8 +/- 2.8 kg/m(2)) were studied twice in a crossover design. After 30 min resting on a bed, resting metabolic rate was measured by a ventilated hood system. Subsequently lunch (35% of daily energy intake) was served. The two lunch conditions were: (1) lunch without capsaicin and (2) lunch with capsaicin (CAPS). The macronutrient composition (energy percentage) of the lunches was 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 30% fat. During 3 h after the lunch diet-induced thermogenesis was measured. Furthermore, anchored 100 mm visual analogue scales on the appetite profile were collected (t = 0, 30, 60, 120, 150, 180 and 240) and blood samples were taken for analysis of GLP-1, PYY, and ghrelin concentrations (t = 0, 45, 60, 120, and 180).


Satiety and EE were not different after CAPS lunch as compared to the control lunch. Fifteen minutes after lunch CAPS lunch increased GLP-1 (p < 0.05) and tended to decrease ghrelin (p = 0.07) as compared to the control lunch. PYY responses were not different between the CAPS lunch and the control lunch.


An acute lunch containing capsaicin had no effect on satiety, EE, and PYY, but increased GLP-1 and tended to decrease ghrelin.

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