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Capsaicin Overview

Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound found in chili peppers of the Capsicum Genus. It causes a burning sensation on the tongue, making it an irritant for humans. In addition, it causes a burning sensation in any tissue it comes into contact with. Pure capsaicin is a colorless, hydrophobic, odorless, crystalline and volatile to waxy compound that aids in fat and weight loss.

Capsaicin: Positives, Negatives, Dosages and Interactions

Capsaicin is found in chili peppers. It was found to be helpful in lowering pain and tenderness in afflicted joints, with no notable safety concerns. Its efficacy in the treatment of fibromyalgia is supported by only one trial. [1]

Places Where to Get Capsaicin

Capsaicin is found in variable levels in chili peppers, such as cayenne, jalapenos, red peppers, tobacco or spurs peppers, and pepperoncini, and it is used to make spicy and hot meals. These species have a lot of capsaicin in them. Capsaicin is also found in sweet peppers, though it is not as potent as it is in hot peppers. Although the amount of capsaicin is lower than in hot peppers, they are still a good source if consumed regularly.

Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from the chili pepper fruit of the genus Capsicum.

Capsaicin’s Health Benefits

Capsaicin-rich peppers have been shown to be advantageous to one’s health in recent studies. For thousands of years, it has been renowned for its therapeutic benefits. Topical capsaicin ointment or cream can help reduce pain caused by radiation and chemotherapy therapy, such as neuralgia, surgery, shingles, arthritis, cluster headaches, mouth sores, and psoriasis. Capsaicin also lowers the risk of heart disease by lowering the risk factors that cause it. Capsaicin enhances heart health by decreasing blood

pressure and cholesterol in the body, according to a recent study published in Cell Metabolism. [2]

Other health benefits of capsaicin include:

Cardiovascular Health

It is the best capsaicin supplement for heart health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. [3] Capsaicin, for example, was proven to diminish the risk factors of heart disease in adults with low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels in a three-month trial. [4]

Loss of weight

Does capsaicin burn fat? Capsaicin has been shown in studies to boost metabolism, which raises the rate at which you utilize energy and burn fat deposits. It can also help you eat less than you normally would because it suppresses your appetite.

Pain Reduction

Capsaicin is an active element in a number of pain relievers. It can be applied as a cream with capsaicin or even as a patch for more specialised medicinal purposes. Capsaicin patches are used to treat illnesses including post herpetic neuralgia and others at the doctor’s office. [5]

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What are Capsaicin’s Potential Side Effects?

Capsaicin can have a variety of negative effects in addition to its major health advantages. Sneezing, coughing, throat irritation and watery eyes may develop if a person inhales the dried pharmaceutical residue. You can use this drug if your doctor has prescribed it and you believe the benefits outweigh the risks. If you get severe adverse effects including swelling, blistering, or increasing unusual pain at the application site, cease taking it right once.

Health Hazards

While capsaicin has numerous health benefits, it is not appropriate for everyone. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of capsaicin than others, and many people suffer from unpleasant side effects as a result of it, especially if their bodies aren’t used to the heat it produces.

Capsaicin has a number of negative effects, including:

Vomiting and Nausea [6]

Capsaicin patches are sometimes used therapeutically for pain relief; however the greater capsaicin dosages may be harmful to some people. Nausea and vomiting are two of the most typical side effects of these capsaicin patches.

Diarrhea [7]

Capsaicin, found in peppers, is known to irritate the lining of the digestive tract, causing stomach pain and diarrhea. It may also speed up the digestion of meals, causing stool to burn as it moves through the body.

Acid Reflux (Acid Reflux) [8]

Capsaicin has the potential to aggravate acid reflux symptoms. The heat it produces might irritate the stomach lining, potentially causing reflux, heartburn, and other unpleasant side effects. [9]

Capsaicin’s most common negative effects include:

The following are some of the less prevalent capsaicin topical adverse effects: [14]

  • Exfoliation
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Bad odor on the skin
  • Headache
  • Changes in flavor

Capsaicin Doses and Timing Recommendations

Take Capsaicin doses with caution; 135 mg per day has been found to be beneficial in promoting thermogenesis. Taking this dose on a regular basis may result in considerable weight loss. Take it with meals several times a day or use it according to the product label’s directions. [15]

  • Adults: Apply 3–4 times a day, rubbing it in thoroughly.
  • Children—your doctor will determine the appropriate use and dosage.

Supplements Containing Capsaicin

Capsaicin, which is found in many nutritional supplements, aids digestion. It helps to increase the amount of digestive fluids in the stomach and may also help to reduce diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection. Fat burning peppers also contain capsaicin.

When taken as a supplement, capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that creates the iconic burning sensation, may provide a number of health benefits.
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Capsaicin FAQ’s

Q: What is capsaicin?

A: Capsaicin is said to be gotten from the extract of chili pepper and it contains analgesic properties. When used topically, capsaicin aids in controlling peripheral nerve pain. [16]

Q: Is capsaicin helpful in burning fat?

A: Recent headlines imply just that, based on research conducted by researchers at University of Wyoming. They found that capsaicin—the substance that gives chili peppers their kick—could turn fat cells into calorie-burning machines. Their study was conducted on mice. [17]

Q: How do I neutralize capsaicin on skin?

A: Capsaicin can be neutralized using one of the ways listed below.

  • Hand degreaser
  • Calamine Lotion/Spray
  • Corn Starch Soak
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap and Rubbing Alcohol combo

Q: What is capsaicin used for?

A: Topical capsaicin is used to treat arthritis, backaches, muscle strains, bruises, cramps, and sprains in the muscles and joints. Capsaicin is a chemical compound found in chili peppers.

Q: Why does capsaicin burn?

A: Capsaicin burns mainly because it is the source of heat or pungency in chili pepper. [18]

Q: Does capsaicin cause cancer?

A: Several genes involved in cancer cell survival, growth arrest, angiogenesis, and metastasis have been shown to be altered by capsaicin. [19]

Q: Can capsaicin be used to kill bacteria?

A: Capsaicin is helpful for killing bacteria when properly consumed in some foods, such as raw oysters. Research has shown that when cayenne or any other form of chili is taken with noxious bacteria present in oysters, all of the bacteria then get killed.

Q: Is capsaicin in all peppers?

A:  Capsaicin isn’t distributed equally in the different parts constituting the pepper fruit. It is more concentrated in parts located around the seeds (also known as the placental tissue) and this has direct relationship with the role of capsaicin in enhancing germination of seed. [20]

Q: What foods have capsaicin?

A: Capsaicin is the chemical in chili peppers that makes them spicy. Capsaicin occurs in the fruits of plants in the family of Capsicum, including jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, and other chili peppers. [21]

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21 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

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[3] Mayo Clinic Minute: Capsaicin’s connection to heart health:
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[7] Aniwan S, Gonlachanvit S. Effects of Chili Treatment on Gastrointestinal and Rectal Sensation in Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-blinded, Crossover Study. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014;20(3):400-406. doi:10.5056/jnm14022
[8] Rodriguez-Stanley S, Collings KL, Robinson M, Owen W, Miner PB Jr. The effects of capsaicin on reflux, gastric emptying and dyspepsia. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Jan;14(1):129-34. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2000.00682.x. PMID: 10632656.
[9] O'Neill J, Brock C, Olesen AE, Andresen T, Nilsson M, Dickenson AH. Unravelling the mystery of capsaicin: a tool to understand and treat pain. Pharmacol Rev. 2012;64(4):939-971. doi:10.1124/pr.112.006163
[10] Capsaicin (Topical Route):
[11] Definition of Nausea:
[12] High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Medications:
[13] Definition of Bronchitis:
[14] Definition of Dizziness:
[15] Rogers J, Urbina SL, Taylor LW, et al. Capsaicinoids supplementation decreases percent body fat and fat mass: adjustment using covariates in a post hoc analysis. BMC Obes. 2018;5:22. Published 2018 Aug 13. doi:10.1186/s40608-018-0197-1
[16] National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 1548943, Capsaicin. Retrieved March 23, 2023 from
[17] Sorry, Peppers Aren't a Miracle Cure for Obesity:
[18] Capsaicin – Why Do Hot Peppers Burn?:
[19] Capsaicin Topical:
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[21] Capsaicin – Why Do Hot Peppers Burn?: