Context: Energy metabolism is the main determinant of obesity etiology. Consumption of some spices, such as red pepper, ginger, and turmeric, can be considered to be an environmental factor affecting energy metabolism.
Objective: This review aimed to examine the effects of red pepper, ginger, and turmeric on weight control, weight loss, and energy metabolism.
Design: The research team performed a narrative review by searching the Google scholar, Scopus, PubMed, ResearchGate, Web of Science, and Science Direct databases. The search used the keywords red pepper, ginger, and turmeric in combination with energy metabolism, energy expenditure, energy balance, thermogenesis, anti-obesity, weight management, weight control, weight loss, metabolic rate, and oxygen consumption, without considering any time limitation.
Setting: This study has been carried out in Ankara / Turkey.
Results: Red pepper, ginger, and turmeric affect energy metabolism through various mechanisms. Dietary red pepper and its pungent principle capsaicin affects satiety and has a promising thermogenic influence. Ginger has positive effects on weight control, obesity prevention, and energy metabolism. In addition, curcumin inhibits the conversion of preadipocytes to mature adipocytes.
Conclusions: Red pepper, ginger, and turmeric affect energy metabolism using mechanisms related to thermal effect, BMR, total energy expenditure, oxygen consumption, and lipid oxidation. These spices haven't been assigned appropriate doses and periods of use, and no definite judgments can be made on their use. Therefore, it's necessary to conduct further randomized controlled research to reach absolute conclusions and determine by which mechanisms these spices show this effect on energy metabolism.