Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 2000; 9(4): 0

Published online December 31, 2000

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Effects of Dietary Capsaicin on Lipid Metabolism in Streptozotocin-induced Diabetic Rats

Byung-Ju Park,Sung Hyun Jun,Keum Hee Choi,Tai-Hee Lee1,Young Hee Chung2

Department of Biochemistry and Research Institute of Medical Science, College of Dentistry, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School1, Chonnam National University, Dept. of Food and Nutrition, Kwangju Health College2, Kwangju, Korea


The effects of dietary capsaicin--the pungent principle of red pepper--on glucose and lipid metabolism were studied in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (30 mg/kg body weight) into Wistar female rats weighing up to 200 g. Capsaicin was then used as a dietary supplement at concentrations of 0.014% or 0.028% for a period of 4 weeks. Our result show that dietary capsaicin did not make any difference in the ingested food amounts and body weights of the experimental subjects compared to the diabetic control or the control group. At 4 weeks, diabetic rats fed capsaicin diet (0.028%) exhibited significantly decreased basal and blood glucose levels on 10, 20 minutes after an intravenous glucose loading (p<0.05) when compared to the diabetic control group. Immunoreactive insulin levels were not changed between the groups. There were no significant changes of the plasma concentrations of triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol between the groups, but there were decreasing tendency in the plasma concentrations of LDL-cholesterol, phospholipid, and free fatty acids in capsaicin-fed group compared to diabetic control group. The plasma concentrations of total cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) were significantly decreased in capsaicin-fed group compared to diabetic control group (p<0.05). This study suggests that dietary capsaicin improves lipid metabolism, thus capsaicin may be useful for the treatment of diabetes and intervention of diabetic complications.

Keywords: Capsaicin, Diabetes, Lipids, Lp (a)