Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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There are lots of factors that can alter whether your body is burning dangerous visceral fat or storing additional fat. Researchers over the years have learned that a compound – capsaicin – found in hot chillies could be one way to bring down levels of visceral fat. Capsaicin gives cayenne and paprika their pungency, can be taken as a supplement or rubbed in your body.
When you eat some foods high in capsaicin, such as chilli peppers, your mouth feels hot.
You might even start to sweat. That’s because it triggers your nerves to make your body feel warmer and sweat comes about to cool you back down.
Studies have shown that the effects of Capsaicin aren’t just theatrical. They can have some major benefits for your weight.
Studies have found that capsaicin can reduce your appetite, meaning that you consume less food each day.
Other studies have found that it could directly shrink visceral fat cells in your body to make them “markedly” smaller.
Researchers from Manchester found that dietary red pepper could “suppress energy intake” by regulating appetite in a study they conducted.
They found that having capsaicin “prior to a meal” reduced energy intake by an average of 74 calories per meal. However, the study warned to interpret its results with “caution” due to large variations in results.
The authors wrote: “Study findings suggest a minimum dose of 2mg of capsaicinoids is needed to contribute to reductions in… energy intake, which appears to be attributed to an altered preference for carbohydrate-rich foods over foods with a higher fat content.”
It’s thought by scientists that the effect may be down to an increase in activity in your nervous system.
Other research has shown that capsaicin can trigger your brown fat tissue, known as brown adipose tissue, to become more active. When brown fat is activated it uses other fat molecules and sugar to generate heat in the body.
Another study also found that rubbing in capsaicin extract as a topical cream could “significantly” reduce weight gain and visceral fat.
Korean scientists applied topical capsaicin with a strength of 0.075% to mice that were on a high-fat diet.
They observed that fat cells in the abdomen of mice were “markedly smaller” in mice given the cream.
The cream also lowered the levels of fasting glucose, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in the mice.
But because the study was done on mice, it does not necessarily show that humans would benefit from similar results.
However, previous research has found other benefits that show that the compound could be a powerful weight-loss ingredient.
But you shouldn’t rely on only one food or drink to burn your visceral fat.
The best way to reduce your belly fat is to make several key lifestyle changes, including exercising more and eating a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Diabetes.co.uk also recommends getting good sleep, reducing your stress levels, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking.
All of these factors have been shown to cause your body to store fat around your organs.
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