Volunteers sought for pepper research

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2011

Can black pepper help you lose weight? Researchers at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab located on the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis hope to answer that question.
They are seeking 25 healthy, nonsmoking males between the ages of 25 to 45 and who are no more than 30 pounds overweight to participate in a study on the effect black pepper has on the metabolism.
People in the United States consume on average about one-tenth of a teaspoon of black pepper a day. Research participants will consume 1/8 of a teaspoon of black pepper with each of three meals for one day (for a total of 1,500 mg.).
Some animal studies suggest that black pepper increases the resting metabolism, thus countering weight gain. This study will measure whether eating 1,500 mg. of black pepper during one day will increase the resting metabolism, which is the number of calories the body burns to support life.
Participants should have no known sensitivity or allergic reaction to eating black pepper and not abuse drugs or alcohol. They should not be taking herbal supplements or medications that influence blood pressure and inflammation. They also should be accustomed to eating breakfast and meat.
The research project will be conducted at the Nutrition Research Institute, North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, at 500 Laureate Way. Three visits to the institute are required.
The first visit will take about 60 minutes, and the second and third visits will take one day each. During the first visit, during the week of March 28 or April 1, participants will receive an orientation to the study, complete several questionnaires, provide a small blood sample, and have their body composition measured.
During the second and third visits participants will stay and sleep in the metabolic chamber, which is a small room with a bed and restroom connected to energy measuring equipment. One of the two days in the metabolic chamber will include consuming the black pepper, and the other day will be exactly the same but without black pepper. A blood sample will be collected during each metabolic chamber session. The schedule in the metabolic chamber will be two dates, one week apart, during the period April 18 to June 23.
Participants selected for the research project will receive $200 for following all study procedures and will receive results on their body composition and metabolism.
To sign up or for more information, e-mail ASU-NCRC@appstate.edu.