“Fat burners” is more of an advertising term, we first learned it from obsessive commercials and ads promising that you can lose weight without getting out of bed. But today it is also used in the scientific community.

Scientists are seriously studying substances that activate the breakdown of fat in the body and are contained in many products. This is relevant due to the widespread prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Fat burners are considered promising means for their treatment and prevention. And of course, most of all, such funds are waiting for many millions of people who are concerned about overweight and are always in the fight against it.

The most well-known fat burner is capsaicin, which is what gives pepper its spiciness. But this is also a big problem: even in small quantities, it causes very strong sensations. Relatively recently, in 1989, a safe replacement was found for him. This is a group of substances related to capsaicin – capsinoids. This name is not accidental, the root “caps” refers us to the Latin name of pepper – “Capsicum”. These substances are also found in peppers, only they are more abundant in mild varieties.


The discovery of capsinoids was expected, because it is well known in botany that, in contrast to chemical synthesis, not one pure substance is formed in a plant, but a “bouquet” of related molecules with different properties. Highlighting the most active and safe of them, pharmacologists have received many drugs. Capsinoids were about a thousand times less pungent than capsaicin, but at the same time, their fat-burning effect was no worse. This happens: they have almost no effect on the receptor, the stimulation of which leads to a burning sensation, but the other receptor, which triggers fat burning, is activated well.


Beige fat

Very important discoveries have been made in studying the mechanism of action of such substances. The process of burning fat, which they stimulate, scientists call thermogenesis. The clever term stands for simply “heat production”. Thanks to this mechanism, our body warms up. And this process takes place not in subcutaneous fat deposits (they are called white fat), which we explain the frost resistance of fat people, but in the so-called brown fat. Many have not heard of him. Newborns have a lot of it, it is distributed throughout the body and disappears as it grows. Adults have only a tiny amount of it.

In this regard, the question arises: if thermogenesis occurs only in brown fat, then what is the meaning of this for overweight people, because they have almost no such fat? But recently, scientists have shown that everything is much more complicated. They discovered a previously unseen fat in our body and called it beige. Like brown, thermogenesis also actively occurs in it. Beige fat is formed in two ways. The first is the degeneration of white fat cells into beige and the second is directly from stem fat cells. And now the most interesting. Capsaicin and capsinoids not only burn fat, but also activate the formation of brown fat cells in the body. That is, thanks to them, the process of burning fat can become more ambitious, because it will occur not only in brown fat cells, but also in beige ones.

And this has been shown in many studies. Experts in their articles write in plain text: by increasing energy consumption, capsaicin and capsinoids moderately but consistently reduce body fat. And therefore, it is recommended to consume pepper in different forms – fresh, cooked by any means, add dry and ground red pepper to dishes. But note: not all peppers contain these substances. We are only talking about different types of capsicum (mainly red) from the nightshade family.

hot family

Pepper is not the only fat burning food. There are many of them, and they all do one thing in common, but in different ways – they activate the formation of beige fat in the body. Acting together on different mechanisms, they enhance the effect. Therefore, it is better to regularly include different foods with fat burners in your diet. Scientists study them, try to decipher their action in detail, find out effective doses and develop drugs for the treatment and prevention of obesity on this basis. But for now, you can consume these products yourself as often as possible – especially since they are all useful for other reasons, and not just for weight loss. Here is a list of other most promising fat burners:

Some polyphenols found in a wide variety of gifts of nature.

Resveratrol found in grape skins. But berries and juice are not the best sources of this substance. Its concentrate is young dry red wine. During fermentation, a lot of resveratrol comes out of the skin. And from the skin of berries, it is poorly absorbed. Plus, there are a lot of unhealthy, easily digestible carbohydrates in grapes and grape juice.

Curcumin. Unlike India, turmeric is not the most popular spice in our country. But it makes sense to include it in the diet more often, and not only in the first and second courses, but also in drinks.

Berberine found in barberry. Useful for diabetes and heart disease. Berries are good to use in meat dishes and drinks.

Catechins green tea. We love black more, but it has fewer such compounds, although it is also very useful. Try to periodically drink green tea instead of black.

Fish fat. Oddly enough, omega-3 acids in its composition are also fat burners. Especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Therefore, do not forget about both the fish oil itself and sea fish and seafood. Plant-based omega-3s do not have this effect.

Other Fat Burners. In addition to capsaicin and capsinoids, there are several other pungent substances that work similarly. First of all, these are isothiocyanates contained in mustard, horseradish and garlic. The same effect has 6-paradol in ginger, and not even spicy, but cooling menthol from mint. Include these foods in your diet.

Expert opinion

Fat burners are being actively studied now. But if you gorge yourself on such foods and wait for the fats to start burning, you will not wait. By themselves, they will not work effectively.

Fat burning is oxidation. It also needs a lot of oxygen to start. Therefore, aerobic exercises must be connected to the consumption of such products – jogging, walking with sticks, swimming, cycling, etc.

There is another important aspect. Biochemists like to say that fats are burned in the “flame of carbohydrates.” Specifically, in the fire of glucose. Therefore, before training, you need to eat 7-8 grapes, a few raisins or figs. But an apple and most fruits will not work, they have more fructose than glucose.

Vitamin B12, potassium and magnesium also play an important role in fat burning. They must be in sufficient quantity. When fat is actively broken down, the body is acidified by its decay products. Nausea and increased appetite may occur. Therefore, you should drink plenty of ordinary or bicarbonate (alkaline) water. It is good if there is a lot of magnesium and potassium in the mineral water, and not sodium.