Cayenne pepper supplement health benefit and use in medicine
July 15 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The spice capsicum, the fruits of the genus Capsicum, is a very popular food additive in many parts of the world. It is valued for the important sensory attributes of color, pungency, and aroma. A large number of varieties of cayenne pepper are widely cultivated and traded. The characteristic carotenoids of the bright red paprika and cayenne-type chillies, the high character impact aroma stimuli, the methoxy pyrazine of green bell capsicum, the esters of ripe tabasco and the highly potent pungency stimuli, and the capsaicinoids of African and other Asian varieties of chillies, have been of great interest to chemists and biochemists. Cayenne contains carotenoids and capsaicinoids.
Cayenne pepper fruit (Capsicum annuum) is a blood-red warming herb that has an invigorating effect on several body systems. Additional beneficial herbs you may wish to consider are acai berry supplement, curcumin, goji berry, mangosteen, and pomegranate.

Health benefit of cayenne pepper supplement
Cayenne pepper, and chili, have antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of chilli increases the resistance of blood lipids to oxidation and may slightly decrease insulin levels after a meal.

The effect of 4-week chilli supplementation on metabolic and arterial function in humans.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007.
Thirty-six middle aged men and women consumed 30 grams a day of a chilli blend (55% cayenne chilli) with their normal diet (chilli diet), and a bland diet (chilli-free) for 4 weeks each. Metabolic and vascular parameters, including plasma glucose, serum lipids and lipoproteins, insulin, basal metabolic rate, blood pressure, heart rate, augmentation index (AIx; an indicator of arterial stiffness), and subendocardial-viability ratio (SEVR; a measure of myocardial perfusion), were measured at the end of each diet. There were no significant differences between any of the measured parameters when compared at the end of the two dietary periods. When analysed separately, men had a lower resting heart rate and higher SEVR at the end of the chilli diet than the bland diet. In the sub-study, baseline AIx on the chilli diet was lower than on the bland diet. Four weeks of regular chilli consumption has no obvious beneficial or harmful effects on metabolic parameters but may reduce resting heart rate and increase effective myocardial perfusion pressure time in men.

Weight loss and appetite suppression, burning calories
Red cayenne pepper may help burn calories and curb appetite. A study found that about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper either mixed in food or swallowed in a capsule helped normal-weight young adults burn about 10 more calories over a four-hour period, compared to eating the same meal but without it and also helped decrease appetite. This study was partly supported by the National Institutes of Health and the McCormick Spice Company. Physiology & Behavior, March 2011.

Cayenne Pepper Benefit Research
Characterization and quantitation of Antioxidant Constituents of Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum - Cayenne).
J Agric Food Chem. 2004.
Sweet peppers (Capsicum annuum) have been studied at four maturity stages (immature green, green, immature red, and red). The individual phenolics (hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids), vitamin C (ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid), and individual carotenoids in cayenne were characterized and quantified. Five hydroxycinnamic derivatives and 23 flavonoids were characterized and quantified from the pericarp of sweet pepper. Hydroxycinnamic derivatives, O-glycosides of quercetin, luteolin, and chrysoeriol, and a large number of C-glycosyl flavones have been characterized. Some of these compounds were found for the first time in nature. Clear differences in the individual and total phenolic content were detected between the different cayenne maturity stages. Immature green pepper had a very high phenolic content while green, immature red, and red ripe cayenne peppers showed a 4-5-fold reduction. Ascorbic acid was the main form of vitamin C, and its content increased as the pepper reached maturity. The red ripe stage had a relevant impact on the carotenoids content. Thus, immature green cayenne peppers showed the highest content of polyphenols, while red ripe fruits had the highest content of vitamin C and provitamin A.

Peroxisomes from cayenne pepper fruits Capsicum annuum: purification, characterisation and antioxidant activity.
J Plant Physiol. 2003.
Pepper is a vegetable of importance in human nutrition. Currently, one of the most interesting properties of natural products is their antioxidant content. In this work, the purification and characterisation of peroxisomes from fruits of a higher plant was carried out, and their antioxidative enzymatic and non-enzymatic content was investigated. Green and red pepper fruits (Capsicum annuum) were used in this study. The analysis by electron microscopy showed that peroxisomes from both types of fruits contained crystalline cores which varied in shape and size, and the presence of chloroplasts and chromoplasts in green and red pepper fruits, respectively, was confirmed. Peroxisomes were purified by differential and sucrose density-gradient centrifugations. In the peroxisomal fractions, the activity of the photorespiration, beta-oxidation and glyoxylate cycle enzymes, and the ROS-related enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase, xanthine oxidase, glutathione reductase and NADP(+)-dehydrogenases, was determined. Most enzymes studied had higher specific activity and protein content in green than in red fruits. By native PAGE and western blot analysis, the localisation of a Mn-SOD in fruit peroxisomes was demonstrated. The ascorbate and glutathione levels were also determined in crude extracts and in peroxisomes purified from both green and red peppers. The total ascorbate content (200-220 mg per 100 g FW) was similar in crude extracts from the two types of fruits, but higher in peroxisomes from red peppers. The glutathione concentration was 2-fold greater in green pepper crude extracts than in red fruits, whereas peroxisomes from both tissues showed similar values. The presence in pepper peroxisomes of different antioxidative enzymes and their corresponding metabolites implies that these organelles might be an important pool of antioxidants in fruit cells, where these enzymes could also act as modulators of signal molecules (O2*-, H202) during fruit maturation.

Is cayenne a sexual enhancer?
   I have not seen any convincing research on the role of cayenne in libido or sexual enhancement or as an aphrodisiac, but I would not be surprised if it did. Many herbs help dilate blood vessels or have an influence on hormones and brain chemistry.

I heard new information about cayenne being useful in curing diabetes; What is your medical opinion about this?
I have MS and CFIDS and I am a bodybuilder; however, I have foot neuropathy that has been tested and tested and everyone puts it off to the plaques in my spine. I don't believe them. I think it has something to do with glucose and I don't know how to explain it, but it seems as though any type of sugar; be it whole fruit, or rice, whatever the case, I start to get it in my joints and my feet are always on fire. I have had a foot-nerve biopsy and everything; "MS, MS, MS; or, I don't know". Anyway, do you think that this cayenne could be helpful? If so; how much would I use, or would you think it was a matter of trial and error? Could one hurt their gastrointestinal flora or lining with too much cayenne?
   It is difficult to say how cayenne supplement use will influence blood sugar levels until more human studies are done. A small amount of cayenne supplement use daily should not cause side effects. There are many nutrients that have been tested in diabetes and diabetic foot neuropathy. You could consider reading more about diabetic neuropathy.

After suffering for many years with allergies, I've stumbled across a cure for me. I don't know if it works for everyone, but cayenne has been absolutely amazing for me. I started taking cayenne for circulation. I had no idea it would have this side benefit. I no longer have to take an antihistamine that makes me drowsy. I take 3 cayenne capsules twice a day. Very little sneezing and no more itchy eyes! The brand is Spring Valley, bought at Walmart.
   Thanks for letting us know. We will wait to see if others get the same benefit from cayenne for allergy treatment.

Iím an editor at a health magazine and Iím writing a short piece on the health benefits of cayenne pepper and how to use it. Iíve heard cayenne pepper is powerful when it comes to lowering blood pressure. Have you come across research on this? Are there any other health benefits of cayenne that youíre aware of?
   Cayenne pepper has excellent antioxidants, but so do most vegetables, fruits and herbs. Regular consumption of chilli increases the resistance of blood lipids to oxidation and may slightly decrease insulin levels after a meal. I have not seen studies that cayenne or chilli pepper have a significant influence on blood pressure.

I have spent hours browsing through your site and have learned so much. I wanted to share how effective cayenne pepper is in clearing out my nasal passages when I have a cold. I put the powder on my food or in some soup and 10-15 minutes later I'm able to blow my nose and large amounts of mucus come out. Eating cayenne pepper on or in food is more effective for me than any drug I've ever taken for decongestion.

Are there any bad interactions between cayenne pepper and fennel herb supplements?
    Not that I am aware of. The combination should be fine.

Product for sale online
buy Cayenne 500 mg
This hot herb that may be more easily taken in capsules with meals and preferably in the early part of the day.

Supplement Facts
Cayenne Pepper - 500 mg
   (Capsicum frutescens) (fruit) (40,000 heat units)

Suggested Use: As an herbal dietary supplement, take 1 cayenne capsule with breakfast and lunch.

Buy Cayenne supplement