The Heat Is On

Thermogenesis is the process of producing heat in the body. That heat production is necessary in order to regulate our body temperatures. Thermogenesis occurs as part of the body’s natural processes. For example, when you’re cold and start shivering, that’s thermogenesis. When you’re exercising and start sweating, that’s thermogenesis. What people don’t often realize is when you’re eating and drinking, you’re also generating heat and thermogenesis occurs then, too. The capasaicinoid known as capsaicin, in combination with other ingredients, has been shown to enhance thermogenesis.

How Does It Work?

Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in the blood. When free fatty acids are released from the breakdown of triglycerides during lipolysis, they signal a protein found in brown adipose tissue (BAT) called uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) to convert the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s principal energy source, into heat.

The Research

Several studies have looked at the effect of capsaicin—in combination with other ingredients—on thermogenesis:

  • In one trial, after seven days of supplementation with capsaicin, the amino acid tyrosine, green tea extract and caffeine, thermogenesis increased and body fat mass slightly decreased in 19 obese men[1]
  • A daily supplement containing capsaicin, green tea extract, caffeine, tyrosine, and calcium taken three times daily for seven days increased the calories burned (known as energy expenditure or EE) by 2 percent in overweight subjects. The authors concluded that the supplement may be of value in the prevention of weight gain and weight regain. They also suggested a higher dose may useful in the treatment of obesity[2]
  • When dietary red pepper was added to high-fat (HF) and high-carbohydrate (HC) meals, diet-induced thermogenesis increased following the HC meal and fat oxidation was significantly higher after the HF meal[3]
  • Eight men were served three meals over 24 hours. The men were instructed to eat as much as they wanted. In one period, the men were served appetizers containing 3 g red pepper and caffeinated coffee after each meal and snack. That was compared with a second period in which the appetizers did not contain red pepper and the coffee was decaffeinated. On the day the men consumed red pepper and caffeine, there was a significant decrease in calories consumed and an increase in calories used, with an average difference of 4000 calories per day.  According to the authors, these results indicate that the consumption of red pepper and caffeine can induce a considerable change in energy balance[4]

The great news about Capsimax® is that you can get the effective level of capsaicinoids without the oral and gastric burning sensation you get from red hot peppers.

To learn more about energy expenditure, click here. To learn more about fat burning, click here.


[1] Belza, et al. Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obesity (2007) 31, 121–130

[2] Belza, A and Jessen, AB. Bioactive food stimulants of sympathetic activity: effect on 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Eur J Clin Nutr (2005) 59, 733–741

[3] Yoshioka, et al. Effects of red pepper added to high-fat and high-carbohydrate meals on energy metabolism and substrate utilization in Japanese women. British Journal of Nutrition (1998), 80, 503–510

[4] Yoshioka et al. Combined effects of red pepper and caffeine consumption on 24 h energy balance in subjects given free access to foods. British Journal of Nutrition (2001), 85, 203±211