This Basic Kitchen Ingredient May Help Fight Obesity

Added to high-fat diets, a traditional condiment can contribute to weight loss and provide other health benefits.

A new study, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, found that spicing up your food with black pepper could significantly transform your waistline. To reach this conclusion, Indian researchers at Sri Venkateswara University added piperonal, a compound found in pepper, to high-fat diets fed to obese rats.

At the end of the 22-week study period, the rats that received piperonal had increased their lean body mass, bone density and bone mineral concentration compared to the control group. That is, the rats that consumed pepper had lower body weight, lower blood sugar levels, and a lower percentage of body fat.


The researchers also found that piperonal supplementation significantly lowered the rat’s blood glucose level after only 60 minutes compared to the control group. The results showed that the preventive effects were maximized at a dose of 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, administered over a period of 42 days.

In addition, research suggests that piperonal may have helped regulate some of the genes associated with obesity.

“Our findings demonstrate the efficacy of piperonal as a potent anti-obesity agent, provide scientific evidence for its traditional use, and suggest the possible mechanism of action,” the study authors wrote in the journal.