Weight loss supplements are popular choice for weight loss, whether used alone or with diet or exercise. Most supplements have been found to be ineffective over the years, however, leaving dieters unsure of which ones work and which ones are nothing more than a marketing ploy.
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A new supplement called the tri-pepper blend, made up of caffeine, black pepper and capsaicin (the ingredient that makes red peppers hot) seems to be the real deal.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health and Exercise Science Department studied the tri-pepper blend to analyze if the weight loss supplement had any effect on weight loss efforts. The researchers were testing the claims that the product’s weight loss claims.
The researchers found that the tri-pepper supplement increased energy expenditures of three to six percent – a clinically significant amount that validates the claim that the product does have a positive effect on weight loss.
To test metabolic rate of the participants, they took a supplement of placebo. The researchers then measured the oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output of the participants. The results revealed that those who took the supplement had an increased metabolism compared to the placebo.
Another pepper study, performed by the UCLA Center for Diet and Nutrition studied the effects of capsaicin alone. In their study, 34 participants were given either a placebo or a supplement containing a milder-tasting version of capsaicin called dihydrocapsiate (DCT).
In this study, the UCLA researchers also found that the participants who took the DCT had higher energy expenditures than those who took the placebo. Those who took high doses of DCT had an energy expenditures up to twice as high as the placebo group. The DCT group also burned more fat than the placebo group.
The theory about the peppers and the correlation to weight loss is that, like the burn that it causes in your mouth, it also increases your body temperature. That increase in body temperature leads to calorie burn and helps you lose weight.
Pepper supplements need further investigation to test the effectiveness of the supplements on people of various body types, weights and diets to make sure they are effective over a variety of circumstances.
For now, dieters who enjoy pepper can eat them knowing they taste good and help their waistline.