Chalyasit K, et al. Pharmacokinetic and the effect of capsaicin in Capsicum frutescens on decreasing plasma glucose level. J Med Assoc Thai. 2009 Jan;92(1):108-13.
A placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted to determine the effect of capsaicin on plasma insulin and blood glucose levels. This study enrolled 12 healthy volunteers who received a single dose of either placebo or capsicum 5g. After a 1-week washout period, subjects crossed over to receive the other treatment. Insulin secretion and capsaicin levels in plasma were measured using an HPLC method. Results of an oral glucose tolerance test demonstrated that in subjects who had received capsicum, plasma glucose levels were significantly lower at 30 and 45 minutes (P<.05), and plasma insulin levels were significantly higher at 60, 75, 105, and 120 minutes (P<.05), than for those in the placebo group. Ingestion of capsicum 5g was therefore associated with decreased plasma glucose levels and the maintenance of insulin levels. The authors concluded that these study results may have clinical implications for the management of type 2 diabetes.
Lopez-Carrillo L, et al. Capsaicin consumption, Helicobacter pylori positivity and gastric cancer in Mexico. Int J Cancer. 2003;106:277-282.
Chili pepper intake was evaluated in this case control study to assess whether capsaicin (CAP) intake increased gastric cancer (GC) risk independently of H. pylori (Hp) positivity. From 1994 to 1996, 234 cases of GC and 468 matched controls in 3 areas of Mexico were enrolled. Chili pepper intake was queried by interview. CAP amount in chilies was determined in a separate analysis by gas chromatography to estimate intake; IgG Hp serum antibodies were determined by ELISA. GC risk increased (OR=1.71; 95% CI=0.76–3.88) among high-level vs low-level CAP consumers: 90–250 mg daily (~9–25 jalapeno peppers daily) vs 0–30 mg daily (<3 jalapeno peppers daily), respectively. This effect appeared to be independent of Hp status and other potential GC determinants, and was higher among diffuse GC cases (OR=3.64; 95% CI=1.09-12.2; P for trend=.002) compared with intestinal GC cases (OR=1.36; 95% CI = 0.31-5.89; P for trend=.493). No significant interaction was found between CAP intake and Hp on GC risk. The authors determined that levels of chili pepper consumption might be an independent determinant of GC.
Berger A, et al. Oral capsaicin provides temporary relief for oral mucositis pain secondary to chemotherapy/radiation therapy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 1995;10:243-248.
This older pilot study evaluated whether oral capsaicin in the form of a cayenne pepper taffy candy could provide relief from oral mucositis pain caused by cancer therapy. Taffy was chosen as the delivery vehicle because it does not have sharp edges, which could exacerbate symptoms. At total of 11 patients were enrolled and had the option of full-strength (n=9) or half-strength formulations (n=2). Although patients experienced pain reduction, the relief experienced was not complete and was also temporary. Additional research is needed.