Background: Animal and some human studies have indicated that the consumption of chili-containing meals increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which may help to reduce obesity and related disorders. Because habitual diets affect the activity and responsiveness of receptors involved in regulating and transporting nutrients, the effects of regular consumption of chili on metabolic responses to meals require investigation.
Objective: The objective was to investigate the metabolic effects of a chili-containing meal after the consumption of a bland diet and a chili-blend (30 g/d; 55% cayenne chili) supplemented diet.
Design: Thirty-six subjects with a mean (+/-SD) age of 46 +/- 12 y and a body mass index (in kg/m2) of 26.3 +/- 4.6 participated in a randomized, crossover, intervention study with 2 dietary periods (chili and bland) of 4 wk each. The postprandial effects of a bland meal after a bland diet (BAB), a chili meal after a bland diet (CAB), and a chili meal after a chili-containing diet (CAC) were evaluated. Serum insulin, C-peptide, and glucose concentrations and energy expenditure (EE) were measured at fasting and up to 120 min postprandially.
Results: Significant heterogeneity was observed between the meals for the maximum increase in insulin and the incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for insulin (P = 0.0002); the highest concentrations were with the BAB meal and the lowest with the CAC meal. When separated at the median BMI (26.3), the subjects with a BMI > or = 26.3 also showed heterogeneity in C-peptide, iAUC C-peptide, and net AUC EE (P < 0.02 for all); the highest values occurred after the BAB meal and the lowest after the CAC meal. Conversely, the C-peptide/insulin quotient (an indicator of hepatic insulin clearance) was highest after the CAC meal (P = 0.002).
Conclusion: Regular consumption of chili may attenuate postprandial hyperinsulinemia.