|Cayenne Pepper benefits and side effects
|Cayenne [red pepper or chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens], closely related to bell
peppers, jalapes, paprika, and other similar peppers, was first discovered in South America and has
become popular as food and spicy. Cayenne may have health benefits or support on various digestive
conditions including stomachaches, cramping and gas. Cayenne has also been applied topically for pain,
psoriasis, arthritis and shingles.
Lalitha Thomas, author for '10 Essential Herbs' [second ed., Hohm Press, 1996] states: For cayenne to
be the number one healer of bleeding ulcers in the digestive tract, cayenne must be in its dried and
uncooked form and in the proper dosage.
Cavenne pepper is a good source of manganese, dietary fibers, vitamins A, B 6 and C. Traditional Uses
Cayenne has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to relieve gastrointestinal disorders and other
circulatory related syndromes. Cayenne has also been considered as a first aid prior to medical treatment
for bleeding. With no scientific supports, cayenne mixed with grape juice has been used for caffeine
Active Ingredients and Health Benefits; Research finds.
The active ingredient of cayenne is capsaicin; it is a resinous and pungent substance. This is what gives
cayenne the ability to relieve pain and itching from various conditions when applied externally to the skin.
[1-13] In a study, cayenne has been shown to relieve migraines and headaches. [14-15].
A study has demonstrated the benefits of capsaicin injection on symptom improvement of bladder
dysfunctions.  Two studies suggest that large consumption of cayenne pepper may help weight loss
or even obesity prevention. [17-18].
Cayenne Pepper Weight Loss
A database search was conducted regarding evidence for effectiveness, safety precautions, and side
effects for the 10 ingredients that appeared most often across products. Modest evidence of
effectiveness exists for green tea (Camellia sinensis), chromium picolinate, and ma huang (Ephedra
major). For the remaining seven (ginger root, guarana, hydroxycitric acid, white willow, Siberian ginseng,
cayenne [Capsicum annuum], and bitter orange/zhi shi, inadequate or negative evidence exists. This
work is done by Sharpe PA and co-workers at University of South Carolina. 
In a study, 27 subjects were randomized to three weeks of negative and three weeks of positive energy
balance during which capsaicin, green tea, CH-19 sweet pepper, capsaicin+green tea or placebo was
ingested on ten separate test days. CH-19 sweet pepper and a combination of capsaicin and green tea
reduced energy intake during positive energy balance. Capsaicin and green tea suppressed hunger and
increased satiety more during negative than during positive energy balance. Thus, bioactive ingredients
may therefore be beneficial in reducing energy intake and might support weight loss periods. 
Cayenne Pepper Cancer
Marketers have promoted cayenne pepper as anti-cancer agent --- "The purported health benefits of
cayenne are almost too unbelieveable, Cayenne pepper can do everything from kill cancer cells in the
prostate, lungs, and pancreas to immediately stop a heart attack within 30 seconds." However, the
cayenne pepper may not have such benefits but it may actually be a carcinogenic agent.
Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is the principal pungent component in hot peppers,
including red chili peppers, jalapeños, and habaneros. Capsaicin has a long and convoluted history of
controversy about whether its consumption or topical application is entirely safe. Conflicting epidemiologic
data and basic research study results suggest that capsaicin can act as a carcinogen or as a cancer
preventive agent. Capsaicin is unique among naturally occurring irritant compounds because the initial
neuronal excitation evoked is followed by a long-lasting refractory period, during which the previously
excited neurons are no longer responsive to a broad range of stimuli. This process is referred to as
desensitization and has been exploited for its therapeutic potential. Capsaicin-containing creams have
been in clinical use for many years to relieve a variety of painful conditions. However, their effectiveness
in pain relief is also highly debated and some side effects have been reported. In fact, chronic, long-term
topical application of capsaicin increased skin carcinogenesis in mice treated with a tumor promoter.
These results might imply that caution should be exercised when using capsaicin-containing topical
applications in the presence of a tumor promoter, such as, for example, sunlight.
Further, capsaicin side effect can be very serious, as it may be a cause for gastric cancer. Please, read:
capsaicin and red chili pepper-benefits or side effects
Cayenne Pepper Side Effects, Warnings and Interactions.
Side effects are limited for external uses of cayenne cream.  Some people may experience allergic
reaction as a side effect. In a double-blind study of 15 subjects with heartburn, supplementation with 833
mg of cayenne caused abdominal pain in two of them.  Long-term consumption of large amounts of
cayenne pepper is linked to stomach cancer. 
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vehicle-controlled study. The capsaicin study group. Arch Int Med 1991;151:2225–9. 3. Capsaicin study group.
Effect of treatment with capsaicin on daily activities of patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. The capsaicin study
group. Diabet Care 1992;15:159–65. 4. Ellison N, Loprinzi CL, Kugler J, et al. Phase III placebo-controlled trial
of capsaicin cream in the management of surgical neuropathic pain in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol
1997;15:2974–80. 5. Watson CPN, Evans RJ, Watt VR. The postmastectomy pain syndrome and the effect of
topical capsaicin. Pain 1989;38:177–86. 6. Watson CPN, Evans RJ. The postmastectomy pain syndrome and
topical capsaicin: a randomized trial. Pain 1992;51:375–9. 7. Bernstein JE, Parish LC, Rapaport M, et al. Effects
of topically applied capsaicin on moderate and severe psoriasis vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 1986;15:504–7.
8. McCarty DJ, Csuka M, McCarthy G, et al. Treatment of pain due to fibromyalgia with topical capsaicin: A pilot study.
Semin Arth Rhem 1994;23:41–7. 9. Watson CP, Tyler KL, Bickers DR, et al. A randomized vehicle-controlled
trial of topical capsaicin in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. Clin Ther 1993;15:510–26. 10. Watson CP,
Evans RJ, Watt VR. Postherpetic neuralgia and topical capsaicin. Pain 1988;33:333–40. 11. McCarthy GM,
McCarty DJ. Effect of topical capsaicin in the therapy of painful osteoarthritis of the hands. J Rheumatol
1992;19:604–7. 12. Deal CL, Schnitzer TJ, Lipstein E, et al. Treatment of arthritis with topical capsaicin: A
double-blind trial. Clin Ther 1991;13:383–95. 13. Deal CL, Schnitzer TJ, Lipstein E, et al. Treatment of arthritis
with topical capsaicin: A double-blind trial. Clin Ther 1991;13:383–95. 14. Marks DR, Rapoport A, Padla D, et
al. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of intranasal capsaicin for cluster headache. Cephalalgia
1993;13:114–6. 15. Levy RL. Intranasal capsaicin for acute abortive treatment of migraine without aura.
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et al. Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Br J Nutr 1999;82:115–23. 18. Yoshioka M,
St-Pierre S, Suzuki M, Tremblay A. Effects of red pepper added to high-fat and high-carbohydrate meals on energy
metabolism and substrate utilization in Japanese women. Br J Nutr 1998;80:503–10. 19. Bortolotti M, Coccia G,
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audit of retail outlets in a southeastern city. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Dec;106(12):2045-51. 23 Reinbach HC, et al,
Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and
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