Background: Dihydrocapsiate (DCT) is a natural safe food ingredient which is structurally related to capsaicin from chili pepper and is found in the non-pungent pepper strain, CH-19 Sweet. It has been shown to elicit the thermogenic effects of capsaicin but without its gastrointestinal side effects.
Methods: The present study was designed to examine the effects of DCT on both adaptive thermogenesis as the result of caloric restriction with a high protein very low calorie diet (VLCD) and to determine whether DCT would increase post-prandial energy expenditure (PPEE) in response to a 400 kcal/60 g protein liquid test meal. Thirty-three subjects completed an outpatient very low calorie diet (800 kcal/day providing 120 g/day protein) over 4 weeks and were randomly assigned to receive either DCT capsules three times per day (3 mg or 9 mg) or placebo. At baseline and 4 weeks, fasting basal metabolic rate and PPEE were measured in a metabolic hood and fat free mass (FFM) determined using displacement plethysmography (BOD POD).
Results: PPEE normalized to FFM was increased significantly in subjects receiving 9 mg/day DCT by comparison to placebo (p < 0.05), but decreases in resting metabolic rate were not affected. Respiratory quotient (RQ) increased by 0.04 in the placebo group (p < 0.05) at end of the 4 weeks, but did not change in groups receiving DCT.
Conclusions: These data provide evidence for postprandial increases in thermogenesis and fat oxidation secondary to administration of dihydrocapsiate.
Trial registration: clinicaltrial.govNCT01142687.