Daily Mail

Sydney

It’s long been thought that chillies can help us lose weight. Now, new research found the fiery food can help us feel full, stopping us from overeating and piling on the pounds. The stomach stretches when it is full, activating nerves to tell the body it has had enough food. However a high fat diet impairs important receptors in the stomach that signal fullness, Australian researchers found.

But eating chilli peppers can activate the stomach to stretch and release the ‘full-feeling’ signals, stopping a person from overeating, they said.

It has previously been found that capsaicin - the compound in chilli which gives it its heat - is able to stimulate a receptor called potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel protein.

This receptor triggers the process described above, where the stomach stretches and signal to the body it is full.

The new study’s findings back up previous work which found this receptor can stop obesity associated with a high-fat diet.

Professor Amanda Page, of the University of Adelaide, who carried out the research, said: ‘The stomach stretches when it is full, which activates nerves in the stomach to tell the body that it has had enough food. ‘We found that this activation is regulated through hot chilli pepper or TRPV1 receptors. ‘It is known from previous studies that capsaicin, found in hot chillies, reduces food intake in humans.’