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Appetite. 2014 Feb;73:183-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.11.005. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management? A systematic review and meta-analysis of energy intake data.

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School of Healthcare Science, John Dalton East Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M1 5GD, United Kingdom.
School of Healthcare Science, John Dalton East Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M1 5GD, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland.



Capsaicinoids are a group of chemicals naturally occurring in chilli peppers with bioactive properties that may help to support weight management. The aim of the present study was to conduct a meta-analysis investigating the potential effects of capsaicinoids on energy intake, to clarify previous observations and form evidence-based conclusions about possible weight management roles.


Medical databases (Medline, Web of Knowledge and Scopus) were systematically searched for papers. Search terms were: 'capsaicin(*)' or 'red pepper' or 'chilli(*)' or 'chili(*)' with 'satiety' or 'energy intake'. Of the seventy-four clinical trials identified, 10 were included, 8 of which provided results suitable to be combined in analysis (191 participants). From the studies, 19 effect sizes were extracted and analysed using MIX meta-analysis software.


Data analysis showed that capsaicinoid ingestion prior to a meal reduced ad libitum energy intake by 309.9kJ (74.0kcal) p<0.001 during the meal. Results, however, should be viewed with some caution as heterogeneity was high (I(2)=75.7%). Study findings suggest a minimum dose of 2mg of capsaicinoids is needed to contribute to reductions in ad libitum energy intake, which appears to be attributed to an altered preference for carbohydrate-rich foods over foods with a higher fat content.


Meta-anlysis findings suggest that daily consumption of capsaicinoids may contribute to weight management through reductions in energy intake. Subsequently, there may be potential for capsaicinoids to be used as long-term, natural weight-loss aids. Further long-term randomised trials are now needed to investigate these effects.


Capsaicin; Capsaicinoids; Chili; Chilli; Energy intake; Weight management

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