A recent episode of the Dr. Oz show presented "7 Belly Blasters" including a claim that eating hot pepper jelly can boost your metabolism. Today we'll look a look at this claim.
In a segment entitled “7 Belly Blasters that Really Work” the daytime television doctor’s first suggestion was to introduce hot pepper jelly to your diet to speed up metabolism. He stated the following regarding the product:
This stuff is a brand new way to ignite your metabolism. So for about half an hour after you eat this you can increase your metabolism not just by a little bit but by a whopping 20 percent. And that’s without doing anything else. I’m talking about doing running or jogging or weight lifting or anything else. Big benefit, small little change in your behavior. So I want you to get two tablespoonfuls of hot pepper jelly. You’re gonna put it on either on your English muffin if that’s going to have in the morning. If you have eggs – which is a good idea by the way – that’s fine. This stuff costs about 5 bucks.
A graphic displayed the following tips regarding hot pepper jelly:
- Speeds metabolism 20%
- 2 tbsp every morning
- $5 supermarkets & online
Although the television segment didn’t elaborate as to why it is believed hot pepper jelly may boost metabolism, the Dr. Oz website included the following statement, “This condiment is packed with capsaicin, a chemical that puts the kick in peppers and speeds metabolism up to 20% for 30 minutes after you eat it.”
This is the compound found in peppers which gives them hot sensation when eaten. Some researchers believe the health benefits of capsaicin include increased metabolism, decreased weight gain (as opposed to weight loss), and possibly anti-cancer properties. Topical creams and patches containing capsaicin for pain relief are common.
Dr. David Heber told WebMD that he and his colleagues at UCLA studied a synthetic compound similar to capsaicin and found that obese patients burned an extra 80 calories per day.
It’s a modest effect, similar to that of green tea or caffeine, says Heber, but adding peppers to your diet can’t hurt your weight loss efforts. And, although he says he doesn’t want to “oversell it,” Heber says this metabolic boost might help over time, especially when combined with peppers’ proven ability to dampen appetite during meals.
The article summarizes that “capsaicin is not a weight loss wonder.”
Keep in mind that one pound of fat is approximately 3500 calories, so burning an extra 80 per day via capsaicin is not a comprehensive solution.
Research suggests many health benefits to consuming peppers, which would include hot pepper jelly. It appears in this case, however, that its potential benefit of hot pepper jelly has been somewhat over-emphasized. Moreover, the benefits suggested in the Dr. Oz segment can be achieved by consuming any pepper, not just hot pepper jelly.
- Peppers and Your Health (WebMD)
- The Two Faces of Capsaicin (PubMed.gov)
- 7 Belly Blasters That Really Work! (DoctorOz.com)