Research Links Kochujang and Weight-Loss

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Research Links Kochujang and Weight-Loss

Ju Jong-jae, professor at Kunsan National University, conducted research into how 'Kochujang' (Korean for a thick red chili pepper paste) may be effective in weight loss. Professor Ju and his research team fed rats 1,500 kcal of high-fat food for three weeks, with rats packing on 19.3 grams of body fat over that of rats fed with a normal diet (average weight of 15.1 grams).

Rats fed the same high-fat diet but with 10 percent Kochujang mixed in, however, only saw body fat increase by 9 grams.

Professor Ju's previous research, completed last June, found that the chemical Capsaicin, responsible for the hot spicy taste in Kochujang, decreases body fat in rats. The latest battery of experiments also showed that rats fed red chili pepper instead of Kochujang only lost half the amount of body fat compared with a Kochujang diet.

"We conjecture that along with red chili pepper, fermented soybeans, an ingredient of Kochujang, as well as the fermenting process used in making Kochujang, may increase losses in body fat not only in rats but in humans as well," said Professor Ju. He added that it may be possible to make a diet-aid without any side-effects by using this element found in Kochujang to help curb appetite and have the body absorb less fat during digestion."

by Jang Dae-suk

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