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Paprika (Capsicum annuum)

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Also listed as: Capsicum annuum, Sweet pepper, pimento
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Acyclic diterpene glycosides, agronômico-8, albar, aluminium, Americano sweet pepper, aminobutanoic acid, apigenin glucopyranoside arabinopyranoside, apocarotenoids, antheraxanthin, ascorbic acid, bell tower sweet pepper, belrubi paprika peppers, bet v 1, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-galactosidase, benzaldehyde, bola, caffeic acid, calcium, capsaicin, capsaicinoids, capsanthin, capsanthone, capsianosides, capsiate, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum cordiforme, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum hispidum var. glabriusculum, capsinoids, capsolutein, capsorubin, capsorubin diester, capsorubinal, carotenoids, CH-19 sweet, Charleston belle, chifengtexuan (Chinese), chile guajillo mexicano (Spanish), chili, chilli, chloride, chloroplast-localized small heat shock protein (sHSP), chrysoeriol, citric acid, copper, csemege (Hungarian), cseresznyepaprika (Hungarian), cucurbitaxanthin A, cytosolic small heat shock protein gene (CaHSP18), dehydroascorbic acid, diepikarpoxanthin, digalactosyl diacylglycerol, dihydrocapsiate, E-capsiate, édes csemege (Hungarian), édesnemes (Hungarian), exquisite delicate (csemegepaprika), ferredoxin, ferredoxin-like protein (AP1), ferredoxin-like protein cDNA (Pflp), feruloyl glucopyranoside, fibola sweet pepper, fibrillin, flavones, flavonoids, folate, fructose, fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru2,6bisP), fumaric acid, furanoid oxides, fushimi sweet pepper, fushimi-togarashi (Japanese), glucose, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, guajillo peppers, half-sweet (félédes), hazera, hesperidine, hexose, histidine, hot (eros), Hungarian pepper, hypersensitive response-assisting protein (HRAP), hydroxycinnamic acid and derivatives, hypophasic carotenoids, isocitric acid, jaranda sweet pepper, jariza sweet pepper, jasmonic acid, jupiters, ketocarotenoids, Korean paprika, különleges (Hungarian), Leveillula taurica powdery mildew, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, lutein, luteolin, luteolin arabinopyranoside diglucopyranoside, luteolin glucuronide, luteolin glucopyranoside arabinopyranoside, lycopene, lysine, magali-r genotype, magnesium, malic acid, manganese, milder spiral, nitrogen, noble sweet (édesnemes), nonadienal, nonenamide, nonpungent pepper, nordihydrocapsiate, oil, oleic acids, oleoresins, orrón pepper of 'fresno de la vega,' oxocarotenoid, p101, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, paprena, papri queen, paprika oleoresin, paprike (Yiddish), papryka (Polish), park's whooper improved, patatin-like protein, pectins, pepperke, peroxidase, PSI-1.1 trypsin inhibitor, phosphorus, phytic acid, piment doux (French), pimento (Spanish), pimento pepper, pimentón de la vera (Spanish), pimiento (Spanish), pimiento dulce (Spanish), pimiento rhizosoil, pipeka, piperka (Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian), potassium, proline, protein, protein P23, provitamin A, phytol, pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase, pyrimidinone, pyrrolidine carboxylic acid, quercetin, quercetin raffinose, quercetin rhamnopyranoside, quinic acid, red chlorophyll (Chl) catabolite (RCC) reductase, red paprika, red spice paprika, rhamnopyranoside glucopyranoside, rózsa (Hungarian), Russian healthy sweet pepper, salicylate, sclereids (sclerenchyma tissue), serine proteinase inhibitor, serotonin, shikimic acid, smoked paprika, stachyose, starch, stearic acid, sterols (sitosterol and stigmasterol), sucrose, sucrose synthase, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG), sulfur, sweet pepper, tannins, terpenes, total essential amino acids, triglycerides, trypsin inhibitor, tryptamine, tyramine, unsaturated fatty acids, vanillic acid, vanillin, vanillyl alcohol, vanillylamine, verbascose, vitamin A, vitamin C, violaxanthin, xanthophylls (capsorubin and capasanthin), yolo wonder, zeaxanthin, zeaxanthinal, zeaxanthinone, ziegenhorn Bello.

Background
  • Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum (sweet pepper or pimento). Sweet pepper is grown around the world and is used for color, flavor, and aroma. Some countries have used paprika for thousands of years. Now, it is most commonly grown in Hungary.
  • Sweet peppers contain little or no compounds known as capsaicinoids. However, some paprika is made from hot varieties, which contain higher levels of capsaicinoids (such as capsaicin, present in chili peppers). Paprika is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, capsanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Many of these antioxidants are responsible for the color of paprika.
  • Paprika has been used for various conditions, including nausea, vomiting, and the desire to drink alcohol. There is limited human data that Capsicum annuum may have beneficial effects when used as a source of antioxidants or to promote weight loss. Better-designed studies are needed.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Based on human study, a mixture containing paprika reduced oxidative stress. Additional study is needed in this area.

C


Based on human study, sweet pepper may help in the reduction of food and energy intake, as well as body weight, by decreasing hunger and appetite. Additional study is needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Alcohol dependence, constipation, delirium tremens, diarrhea, dysentery, flavoring, fragrance, heart disease, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, macular degeneration, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, performance enhancement, promotion of digestion, skin conditions, tonic (kidney).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven effective dose for paprika in adults. CH-19 sweet red pepper in amounts of 0.4 grams per kilogram has been used daily for two weeks.

Children (younger than 18 years)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for paprika in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to paprika, Capsicum annuum, other peppers, or plants related to these, or to latex.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Studies of the side effects of paprika are limited. Sweet peppers, such as paprika, are a food, and as such are likely safe in amounts normally found in the diet.
  • When consumed at levels higher than those found in the diet, paprika may cause gastrointestinal disturbances (such as inflammation and hemorrhoids) and weight loss.
  • Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to paprika, Capsicum annuum, other peppers, or plants related to these, or to latex.
  • Some consumer groups suggest buying organic sweet peppers in order to avoid pesticide contamination. Sweet peppers should be washed before use and only purchased from trusted sources.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Sweet peppers are likely safe when consumed by nonallergic pregnant or breastfeeding women in amounts generally found in foods. Paprika in medicinal amounts is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
  • Paprika should be washed carefully, due to possible contamination, but especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Paprika should only be consumed when purchased from trusted sources, especially during pregnancy.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Studies of the interactions of paprika with drugs are limited.
  • Paprika may interact with analgesics (painkillers), antibiotics, antifungal agents, anti-inflammatory agents, chemotherapy agents, cholesterol-lowering drugs, cough suppressants, exercise performance enhancers, fever reducers, gastrointestinal agents, memory agents, skin products, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Studies of the interactions of paprika with herbs and supplements are limited.
  • Paprika may interact with analgesics (painkillers), antibacterials, antifungals, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, anticancer herbs and supplements, antioxidants, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, cough suppressants, exercise performance enhancers, fever reducers, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements used for enhancing memory, skin products, and herbs and supplements used for weight loss.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Aizawa K and Inakuma T. Dietary capsanthin, the main carotenoid in paprika (Capsicum annuum), alters plasma high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels and hepatic gene expression in rats. Br.J Nutr 2009;102(12):1760-1766.
  2. Ebner C, Jensen-Jarolim E, Leitner A, et al. Characterization of allergens in plant-derived spices: Apiaceae spices, pepper (Piperaceae), and paprika (bell peppers, Solanaceae). Allergy 1998;53(46 Suppl):52-54.
  3. Final report on the safety assessment of capsicum annuum extract, capsicum annuum fruit extract, capsicum annuum resin, capsicum annuum fruit powder, capsicum frutescens fruit, capsicum frutescens fruit extract, capsicum frutescens resin, and capsaicin. Int.J Toxicol 2007;26 Suppl 1:3-106.
  4. Galgani J E, Ryan DH, and Ravussin E. Effect of capsinoids on energy metabolism in human subjects. Br.J Nutr 2010;103(1):38-42.
  5. Gallo R, Roncarolo D, and Mistrello G. Cross-reactivity between latex and sweet pepper due to prohevein. Allergy 1998;53(10):1007-1008.
  6. Garcia-Closas R, Berenguer A, Jose Tormo M, et al. Dietary sources of vitamin C, vitamin E and specific carotenoids in Spain. Br.J Nutr 2004;91(6):1005-1011.
  7. Haramizu S, Mizunoya W, Masuda Y, et al. Capsiate, a nonpungent capsaicin analog, increases endurance swimming capacity of mice by stimulation of vanilloid receptors. Biosci.Biotechnol.Biochem 2006;70(4):774-781.
  8. Kiokias S. and Gordon M. Dietary supplementation with a natural carotenoid mixture decreases oxidative stress. Eur.J Clin Nutr 2003;57(9):1135-1140.
  9. Kawabata F, Inoue N, Yazawa S, et al. Effects of CH-19 sweet, a non-pungent cultivar of red pepper, in decreasing the body weight and suppressing body fat accumulation by sympathetic nerve activation in humans. Biosci.Biotechnol.Biochem 2006;70(12):2824-2835.
  10. Macho A, Lucena C, Sancho R, et al. Non-pungent capsaicinoids from sweet pepper synthesis and evaluation of the chemopreventive and anticancer potential. Eur.J Nutr 2003;42(1):2-9.
  11. Niinimaki A, Bjorksten F, Puukka M, et al. Spice allergy: results of skin prick tests and RAST with spice extracts. Allergy 1989;44(1):60-65.
  12. Reinbach HC, Smeets A, Martinussen T, et al. Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and positive energy balance. Clin Nutr 2009;28(3):260-265.
  13. Rosa A, Deiana M, Casu V, et al. Antioxidant activity of capsinoids. J Agric.Food Chem 12-4-2002;50(25):7396-7401.
  14. Sun T, Xu Z, Wu CT, et al. Antioxidant activities of different colored sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). J Food Sci 2007;72(2):S98-102.
  15. Weintraub PG. Integrated control of pests in tropical and subtropical sweet pepper production. Pest.Manag.Sci 2007;63(8):753-760.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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