The same component of pepper that makes you sneeze may also be responsible for fighting fat.
A new South Korean study reports that piperine blocks the formation of new fat cells, according to WebMD.com. The study, which appeared in in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, examined piperine's effects on fat both in the lab and computer models. It found that piperine interferes with the genes responsible for forming new fat cells, causing a chain reaction that keeps fat in check.
This means that it may be a natural way to fight fat-related diseases such as obesity.
"Our findings suggest that piperine, a major component of black pepper, inhibits fat cell differentiation ... thus leading to its potential use in the treatment of obesity-related diseases," wrote researcher Ui-Hyun Park of Sejong University in Seoul, Korea. "Overall, our results suggest that piperine could be a lead natural compound for the treatment of fat-related disorders."
Obesity is a common problem in Indiana. According to StateHealthFacts.org, 73.4 percent of Hoosier men and 59.5 percent of Hoosier women are overweight or obese. This is higher than the national average of 71.2 percent of men and 57.0 percent of women.