Advertisement

Supplement Guide: Capsaicin

Advertisement
Advertisement
#

Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)

Origin: The highly purified, heat-producing component in chili peppers

What we know: Applied as a topical cream, gel or patch, capsaicin works by depleting the amount of a neurotransmitter called substance P that sends pain messages to the brain. For the first couple of weeks of use, it may cause burning or stinging as substance P is released and ultimately depleted; it must be used regularly to keep substance P from building up again.

Studies: Many studies have shown that capsaicin effectively reduces pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. In a 2010 German study, joint pain decreased nearly 50 percent after three weeks' use of 0.05 percent capsaicin cream.

Dosage: Most capsaicin products – such as Zostrix, Zostrix HP, Capzasin-P and others – contain between 0.025 to 0.075 percent concentrations. Apply regularly three times daily.

Capsaicin can cause burning and irritation. Avoid applying it near your eyes or on sensitive skin.

 

Want to read more? Subscribe Now to Arthritis Today!

Advertisement
Advertisement