Table 1

Health benefits of capsaicin administration suggested by preclinical and clinical research

Condition benefitedLikely mechanisms of action
Atherosclerosis26 29 30Improved endothelial function, including eNOS activation/induction; induction of LXRalpha in foam cells, promoting cholesterol export
Diabetic vasculopathy39Induction of UCP2 and eNOS in endothelium
Stroke28Improved endothelial function, including eNOS activation/induction
Angina31Improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation of coronary arteries
Hypertension27 32 33Activation/induction of eNOS; decreased renal sodium retention
Metabolic syndrome54–58Decreased adipose inflammation—reflecting PPARgamma induction
Cardiac hypertrophy41Induction of PPARdelta
Fatty liver39 52Induction of UCP2 in hepatocytes; decreased adipose inflammation Increased GLP-1 secretion
Obesity56 57 61 62 66Sympathetic activation of brown fat thermogenesis Improved appetite control—vagal signal to appetite centers, ↑ GLP-1; increased adipocyte capacity for lipolysis
Gastric ulceration68–70Decreased acid secretion; increased alkali; increased gastric blood flow
  • eNOS, endothelial nitric oxide synthase; GLP-1, glucagon-like peptide-1; UCP2, uncoupling protein 2