Biosynthesis, Genetic Regulation and Therapeutic Potential of Capsaicinoids

  • Ajay Kumar
  • Ginkuntla Saikiran
  • Thattantavide Anju
  • Vengaroth Kundancherry Anusree
  • Korambeth Jasna
  • Yash Pal Sharma
  • Kondeti Deep Chandu
  • Kanwaljeet Singh
  • Abdul Rawoof
  • Nirala Ramchiary
  • Pardeep Singh
  • T. Dennis Thomas


Capsaicinoids are a group of molecules, which impart pungency (hotness) to Capsicum fruits. The capsaicinoids are synthesized in the placenta of the Capsicum fruits. During the past few decades, there is an increasing interest in elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway of capsaicinoids. The whole genome sequencing of the highly pungent species, Capsicum chinense has revealed several important genes that are responsible for the biosynthesis of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, the two major active constituents of the pungency complex, also known as capsaicinoid complex. The capsaicinoids have recently attracted a wide attention, because of its huge pharmacotherapeutic potential in treating several diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastric diseases and urological disorders. Further, capsaicin has been increasingly used as a molecule of choice for pain relief and many other diseases. In this chapter, we have presented briefly the sources and types of capsaicinoids, its biosynthesis, quantification of pungency and the genes responsible for its biosynthesis. Further, we have highlighted the candidate genes that are important for the biosynthesis of capsaicin and can be used for further manipulation experiments. At the end, this chapter focuses on the therapeutic potential of capsaicin in treating several diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastric diseases and urological disorders and its increasing role in pain relief. Finally, we have briefly discussed the mode of action of capsaicin against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity management, pain relief and urological disorders.


Capsicum Capsaicinoids Pungency Capsaicin Functional foods Specialized metabolites 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Kumar
    • 1
  • Ginkuntla Saikiran
    • 1
  • Thattantavide Anju
    • 1
  • Vengaroth Kundancherry Anusree
    • 1
  • Korambeth Jasna
    • 1
  • Yash Pal Sharma
    • 2
  • Kondeti Deep Chandu
    • 1
  • Kanwaljeet Singh
    • 2
  • Abdul Rawoof
    • 3
  • Nirala Ramchiary
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pardeep Singh
    • 5
  • T. Dennis Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant ScienceCentral University of KeralaKasaragodIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of JammuJammu and KashmirIndia
  3. 3.School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Department of BiotechnologyDelhi Technological UniversityDelhiIndia
  5. 5.Department of Environmental SciencePGDAV College, University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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