A randomized, controlled trial to assess short-term black pepper consumption on 24-hour energy expenditure and substrate utilization Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2013, Annalouise O’Connor1 , Karen D. Corbin,1 David C. Nieman2 , Andrew G. Swick1*
1UNC Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Research Campus, Kannapolis, North Carolina, USA;
2Human Performance Laboratory,
Appalachian State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis North Carolina,
*Corresponding author: Andrew G. Swick,
1UNC Nutrition Research Institute, University of
North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, North Carolina, USA
Background: Thermogenic ingredients may play a role in weight management. In vitro and
rodent work suggests that components of black pepper may impact energy expenditure, and in
humans, other TPRV1 agonists e.g. capsaicin, augment EE.
Objectives: To determine the impact of BP on 24-hour EE, respiratory quotient, and
biochemical markers of metabolism and satiety, a randomized, controlled, cross-over study of
black pepper (0.5mg/meal) versus no pepper control was conducted in post-menopausal women.
Subjects spent two 24-hour periods in a whole room indirect calorimeter.
Results: Post-meal glucose, insulin, gut peptides and catecholamines were measured. Energy
expenditure, respiratory quotient, or biochemical markers assessed did not differ significantly
between the black pepper and no pepper control study days.
Conclusions: Our findings do not support a role for black pepper in modulating energy
expenditure in overweight postmenopausal women. Future work targeting alternative
populations, administering black pepper in the fasted state, or in combination with other spices,
may reveal the thermogenic effect of this spice.
Trial registration: This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01729143).