Ariel University Vered Kaufman Shrikki, peaceful reunion, Salem Challenge, Abigail Nebro and Mona Boaz examined the efficacy and safety of 4 spices they believe can have a positive effect on weight loss. Whole story
Is it safe and effective to use spices and herbs for weight loss?
Researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Ariel University provide answers to this question in a review published in the journal Functional Foods in Health and Disease.
“We reviewed scientific studies on the commonly used herbs cinnamon, capsaicin, black pepper, and curcumin and their effect on weight loss and the safety of their use,” the authors wrote, Vered Kaufman Shrikki, peaceful reunion, Salem Challenge, Abigail Nebro and Prof. Mona Boaz.
Here is a summary of their findings:
Cinnamon is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It is commonly used to treat conditions such as gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, bacterial infections, and type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon also contains components that affect glucose metabolism and insulin activity, including reduced secretion of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. Studies show that cinnamon improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in healthy people and diabetics. In some studies, a decrease in body volume and weight loss have been observed.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that capsaicin can prevent obesity and diabetes because it increases secretion of the hormone GLP-1, which increases satiety and insulin secretion, while reducing ghrelin and appetite.
By activating the sympathetic nervous system, capsaicin causes a decrease in caloric intake and an increase in energy expenditure. It helps oxidize fatty acids and turns ordinary fat tissue into brown fat tissue, which burns calories and creates heat. So, eating chili can help balance calories and maintain weight.
3. Black pepper
Black pepper is an antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory spice that affects body heat and energy control, lipid accumulation, insulin sensitivity, and glucose entry into the cell through multiple pathways . In animals, black pepper causes an anti-glycemic effect and prevents obesity.
Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies in humans have shown that a blend of black pepper, capsaicin, carnitine, and fiber increases feelings of short-term satiety and decreases insulin resistance and appetite.
Curcumin, a member of the ginger family, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice used to treat asthma, vomiting, diabetes, and various chronic diseases.
Animal studies strongly suggest that the polyphenols in curcumin have a pronounced effect on obesity, as evidenced by lower body weight, fat mass, and triglycerides. Human studies, however, have found no effect on weight loss.
The researchers conclude that the active compounds present in the plants can be used as an additional tool for good weight management.
“In some studies, the effect was only observed in the consumption of a large amount of spices. But since no damage or side effects were observed, it is definitely recommended to spice up our meals with a little more flavor, aromas and spiciness.