Scientific evidence suggests that chilli peppers may help prevent weight gain, but you run the risk of setting your mouth on fire. Now Nestlé scientists believe that cinnamon could offer a cooler alternative.
Working with colleagues from the University of Tokyo, they looked at how effectively cinnameldehyde (a cinnamon extract) and capsaicin (a chili pepper extract) raised energy expenditure and fat oxidation levels in 15 healthy men.
Obesity results in an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure, so greater energy expenditure (through exercise or diet) helps prevent weight gain. Through fat oxidation, the body converts fat into energy.
The scientists found that the cinnamon extract significantly increased the men’s energy expenditure. Both this extract and the chilli pepper extract significantly raised fat oxidation levels.
To be effective, capsaicin needs to be consumed in amounts that the men found too spicy. However, the scientists believe that the cinnamon extract could potentially be used in foods to help prevent weight gain.
Read the full study in the journal Scientific Reports.