Cayenne Pepper for Weight Loss: Is It Safe & Effective?

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Updated December 29, 2020

Thermogenic Properties of Cayenne PepperWhen most people think of cayenne pepper what comes to mind is the common spice that we use in different foods. What they don’t know is that it can be effective for weight loss. Also known as corn horn pepper, the Guinea spice, bird pepper and also aleva pepper, this special spice has proven to be beneficial in burning fat. This article will examine cayenne pepper for weight loss, its other benefits and also look at possible side effects.

What is Cayenne Pepper and Why is it Popular in Fat Burners?

Cayenne pepper is made from dried and crushed red hot chilli peppers. It is a relative of the jalapeno, bell pepper and many other peppers. It is named after Cayenne, a city in Brazil where it grows. In the past, other than being used as a spice, it was also popular for its medicinal benefits. Today, it is added in many fat burners because of its ability to boost metabolism.

Cayenne pepper’s active ingredient is known as capsaicin. This is what makes chillis hot. The more capsaicin there is in a chilli the hotter it is. Cayenne pepper, because it is so hot, contains a lot of capsaicin. When ingested it raises the body’s metabolism which in turn causes a spike in body temperature. In order to protect itself, the body has to cool down. It is during the cooling process that calories are burned.

Another study at the Laval University in Quebec had participants taking cayenne pepper in the morning with their breakfast. The results showed that they had suppressed appetites and consumed fewer calories during the day than when they didn’t consume cayenne at breakfast.

As someone who is considering cayenne pepper and weight loss you can start adding it to soups, meat, fish and chicken dishes and more. You can also buy cayenne pepper capsules or buy fat burners that contain it.

What Are the Benefits of using Cayenne Pepper?

Other than fat burning, there are other additional cayenne pepper benefits:

  • Because of a process known as thermogenesis, increases the internal temperature of the body and speeds up the metabolism, cayenne can help melt fat
  • Cayenne pepper is excellent for people who have stomach ulcers. For many years, it was imagined that pepper is bad for anyone with an ulcer. As it turns out, the capsaicin in the pepper forces the stomach lining to produce mucus which lines the stomach sealing off ulcers and allowing them to heal. It is also good for diarrhea, coughs, sore throats and general stomach upsets.
  • If you have a cold and a congested chest it is a good idea to take some hot soup that contains cayenne pepper. It breaks down the mucus which contains the virus that is making you ill.
  • A study by P. C Agarwal showed that cayenne pepper contains anti-fungal properties.
  • People who suffer migraines have reported relief when they took cayenne pepper as soon as the pain commenced. Anecdotal evidence shows that the brain is forced to transfer its attention to the heat generated by the cayenne thus relieving the headache.
  • Cayenne is excellent for people who suffer constipation. It accelerates the production of gastric juices and enzymes that break up food. It also induces peristalsis, the motion that is necessary for bowel movements.
  • Dry mouth is a condition that many people live with and it leads to poor oral health. It can be eliminated by regular consumption of cayenne pepper because it stimulates production of saliva.
  • When you consume cayenne as a fat burner you are also detoxing; it quickens circulation meaning that you sweat more and eliminate toxins.
  • Cayenne pepper is used in many joint pain medications. Once applied on the skin it forces the brain to stop focusing on the joint pain and focus on the temporary pain that the application causes. These topical medications work the way a cream like Deep heat works.
  • Studies by the Lorna Linda University in California have shown that cayenne pepper could reduce the formation of lung tumors thus reduce the risk of lung cancer. It has also been shown to be effective against liver tumors.

Cayenne Pepper Side Effects

  • The first and most obvious is that it burns as you consume it.
  • You also feel it as you excrete as the capsaicin isn’t completely broken down.
  • Don’t start with large doses – it is so hot that you may get discouraged. Start small and increase the amount over time. Remember, you are developing resistance to the effects so you have to increase how much you consume over the years.
  • Commercially prepared cayenne capsules may contain filler which can have side effects.

Man has used cayenne pepper for centuries without suffering any side effects. That said, the side effects are minimal and can be withstood by almost anybody who is considering cayenne pepper for weight loss:


Cayenne pepper is a great way to lose weight naturally by increasing metabolism. It also suppresses the appetite meaning that you eat less. It is safe if used in the correct way but you should be careful when buying fat burners that contain cayenne as they may contain other unhealthy ingredients.

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Joe Costello CNC
Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC)
Joe Costello is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Nutrition Coach, author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 10 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a Certified Nutrition Coach who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website joecostellonwc.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of TheSupplementReviews.org and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.