Paprika (Capsicum annuum)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
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 (erős), 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.
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.
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.
Based on human study, a mixture containing paprika reduced oxidative stress. Additional study is needed in this area.
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.
*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 against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. 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 health care professional.
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).
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
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.
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.
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.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. 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.
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.
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).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
Gallo R, Roncarolo D, and Mistrello G. Cross-reactivity between latex and sweet pepper due to prohevein. Allergy 1998;53(10):1007-1008. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
Kiokias S. and Gordon M. Dietary supplementation with a natural carotenoid mixture decreases oxidative stress. Eur.J Clin Nutr 2003;57(9):1135-1140. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
Rosa A, Deiana M, Casu V, et al. Antioxidant activity of capsinoids. J Agric.Food Chem 12-4-2002;50(25):7396-7401. View Abstract
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. View Abstract
Weintraub PG. Integrated control of pests in tropical and subtropical sweet pepper production. Pest.Manag.Sci 2007;63(8):753-760. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 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.
March 22, 2017