Friday, January 08, 2021

Major biologically active compounds present in cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper or chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) is the general name of the species Capsicum, which belongs to the Solanaceae family that provide natural flavor and color.

Its color is provided by carotenoids and its flavor is provided by capsaicinoids, which are considered bioactive compounds due to their beneficial effect on health. Moreover, the chili pepper also contains other bioactive compounds, such as phenols and vitamin C.

Array of bioactive compounds especially antioxidants in its phytochemical profile make it an ideal choice for preventing cell damage, cancer insurgence, diabetes prevalence, cardiovascular disorders, cataracts, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Capsaicinoids are the constituents in pepper that are responsible for pungency. Capsaicinoid, particularly capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) crystalline, is an acrid volatile alkaloid in nature and is considered as the principal pungent and irritating constituent of hot peppers, that is, widely used as food additives along with antimicrobial properties.

Capsaicinoids intake effectively reduced the triacyclglycerols, plasma total cholesterol (PTC), and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and thereby helps in the prevention of cardiovascular ailments.

Capsaicin-rich cayenne and other hot peppers help to reduce inflammation and potentially reduce arthritis, rheumatism, and headache pain with the natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Some varieties are highly pungent, such as the habanero chili (Capsicum chinense), whereas others exhibit low pungency, such as sweet peppers—in this case, the red bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum). They are considered a functional food due to the biological activity displayed by several of their phytochemicals, such as the capsaicinoids, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, which can provide health benefits.

Studies have indicated that the consumption of capsaicin can be effective against fighting obesity, as it increases thermogenesis throughout the body. Thermogenesis is the process in which the body raises its temperature, or energy output.

Chili peppers are a source of vitamin C, which is well-known for its antioxidant capacity. Antioxidant activity and ascorbic acid content increased during growth and ripening of peppers, which is the highest levels being found in the last stage of ripening. Vitamin C not only acts as an antioxidant, but is also an essential bioactive compound that can pre-vent heart disease, neuro-degenerative diseases, cancer, and hypertension.

One group of bioactive compounds that provide the color of chili peppers is the carotenoids. Among the most important carotenoids in Capsicum are α-carotene, β-carotene (which is a precursor of vitamin A), violaxanthin, capsanthin, capsorubin, and capsanthin 5,6-epoxide.
Major biologically active compounds present in cayenne pepper

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