Capsaicinoids but not their analogue capsinoids lower plasma cholesterol and possess beneficial vascular activity

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 20;62(33):8415-20. doi: 10.1021/jf502888h. Epub 2014 Aug 11.


Capsaicinoids exist in chili peppers, whereas capsinoids are present in some sweet peppers. The present study investigated the effects of capsaicinoids and capsinoids on plasma lipids, relaxation of the aorta, atherosclerotic plaque development, and fecal sterol excretion in hamsters fed a high-cholesterol diet. Five groups of male hamsters were given the control diet or one of the four experimental diets containing 1.3 mmol of capsaicinoids (NL), 2.6 mmol of capsaicinoids (NH), 1.3 mmol of capsinoids (OL), or 2.6 mmol of capsinoids (OH), respectively. Results showed capsaicinoids but not capsinoids could decrease plasma total cholesterol (TC), reduce the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, and relax the aortic artery. This was accompanied by a 28-175% increase in fecal excretion of acidic sterols in hamsters fed the diets containing capsaicinoids. Similarly, capsaicinoids but not capsinoids could decrease the pad weights of epididymal and prerenal adipose tissues. It was concluded that capsaicinoids but not capsinoids could favorably modulate plasma lipids and possess beneficial vascular activity.

Keywords: aorta; atherosclerosis; capsaicinoids; capsinoids; cholesterol; pepper.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Atherosclerosis / blood*
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Capsaicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Capsaicin / chemistry
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology*
  • Capsicum / chemistry*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cricetinae
  • Humans
  • Mesocricetus
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Cholesterol
  • capsiate
  • Capsaicin