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Paprika (Capsicum annuum)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 2,4-nonadienal, (2S,4R)-4-hydroxy-1-methyl-2-pyrrolidine carboxylic acid, (3R,5'R)-3-hydroxy-beta,kappa-caroten-6'-one, 4-amino-1-beta-D-ribofuranosyl-2(1H)-pyrimidinone, 4-aminobutanoic acid, 5,6-diepikarpoxanthin, (5'R)-3,4-didehydro-beta,kappa-caroten-6'-one, 11-cis-capsanthin, acid and neutral invertase, acyclic diterpene glycosides (capsianosides I, II, VIII, IX, X, XIII, XV, XVI, XVII, XIV, and V methyl ester), agronômico-8, albar, aluminium, Americano sweet pepper, apigenin glucopyranoside arabinopyranoside, apocarotenoids (apo-14'-zeaxanthinal, apo-13-zeaxanthinone, apo-12'-capsorubinal, apo-8'-capsorubinal, 9,9'-diapo-10,9'-retro-carotene-9,9'-dione, apo-8'-zeaxanthinal, apo-10'-zeaxanthinal, apo-12'-zeaxanthinal, apo-15-zeaxanthinal, apo-11-zeaxanthinal, apo-9-zeaxanthinone), 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 (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), capsaicinoids, capsanthin, capsanthin 3'-ester, capsanthin 3,3'-diester, capsanthin 3,6-epoxide, capsanthin 5,6-epoxide, capsanthin diester, capsanthone, capsanthone 3,6-epoxide ((3S,5R,6S,5'R)-3,6-epoxy-5,6-dihydro-5-hydroxy-beta,kappa-carotene-3',6'-dione), capsianosides, capsiate, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum annuum parent var. Maor, Capsicum annuum var. aviculare, Capsicum annuum var. ECW, Capsicum annuum var. Evident, Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum, Capsicum anunum var. grossum (L.) Sendt, Capsicum annuum var. lycopersiciforme rubrum, Capsicum annuum var. Mazurka, Capsicum annuum var. minimum, Capsicum annuum var. minus,Capsicum annuum var. Saeng-Ryeog #211, Capsicum annuum var. Saeng-Ryeog #213, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense Jacq., Capsicum cordiforme, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum hispidum var. glabriusculum, capsinoids, capsolutein, capsorubin, capsorubin diester, carotenoids, carotenoid 5,6-epoxides, c-glycosyl flavones, CH-19 sweet, Charleston belle, chifengtexuan (Chinese), chile guajillo mexicano (Spanish), chili, chilli, chloride, chloroplast-localized small heat shock protein (sHSP), contaminants (lead), chrysoeriol, citric acid, copper, csemege (Hungarian), cseresznyepaprika (Hungarian), cucurbitaxanthin A, cytosolic small heat shock protein gene (CaHSP18), dehydroascorbic acid, digalactosyl diacylglycerol, dihydrocapsiate, E-capsiate, edes csemege (Hungarian), édesnemes (Hungarian), exquisite delicate (csemegepaprika), ferredoxin, ferredoxin-like protein (AP1), ferredoxin-like protein cDNA (Pflp), feruloyl glucopyranoside, fibola sweet pepper, fibrillin, flavonoids, folates (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, 5-formyltetrahydrolfolate, 10-formylfolate), fructose, fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru2,6bisP), fumaric acid, fushimi-togarashi, furanoid oxides, fushimi sweet pepper (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 7-O-beta-D-apiofuranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-glucopyranoside, luteolin arabinopyranoside diglucopyranoside, luteolin glucuronide, luteolin glucopyranoside arabinopyranoside, lycopene, lysine, magali-r genotype, magnesium, malic acid, manganese, milder spiral, nitrogen, noble sweet (edesnemes), nonpungent pepper, nonpungent pepper, nordihydrocapsiate (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl 7-methyloctanoate), oil, oleic acids, oleoresins, orrón pepper of 'fresno de la vega', oxocarotenoid, p101, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, paprena, papri queen, paprika oleoresin, paprike, papryka, park's whooper improved, patatin-like protein, pectins, pepperke, peroxidase, PSI-1.1 trypsin inhibitor, phosphorus, phytic acid, pimento (Spanish), piment doux (French), pimento pepper, pimentón de la vera, pimiento, pimiento dulce (Spanish), pimiento rhizosoil, pipeka, piperka (Bulgarian), potassium, proline, protein, protein P23, provitamin A, phytol [(2E)-3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol], pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase, pungent exquisite delicate (csípős csemege, pikáns), quercetin, quercetin rhamnopyranoside, quercetin raffinose, 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, sulfur, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG), 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, ziegenhorn Bello.
  • Note: Paprika is a spice made from different varieties of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum). Both the pepper and the spice are covered in this monograph. Although several constituents of paprika, such as capsaicin and capsanthin, are also found in extracts from other pepper plant species, only those studies that identify the constituents as coming from Capsicum annuum are included here. There is a separate cayenne monograph that covers pungent varieties of peppers, such as Capsicum frutescens. Capsaicin (responsible for the pungency of chili peppers) is usually present in low levels in paprika and is therefore only briefly covered here, but it is covered in more detail in the cayenne monograph.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum (sweet pepper or pimento). Sweet paprika is usually made from only the dried flesh of the pepper, while hot paprika may include the veins and seeds. Sweet peppers contain little or no capsaicinoids. However, some paprika is made from hot varieties, which contain higher levels of capsaicinoids, such as capsaicin, which is also present in chili peppers.
  • Capsicum annuum is cultivated worldwide and is used mainly for its color, pungency, and aroma (1;2). Paprika is used to season and add color and flavor to rice, stews, and soups, such as goulash. Pimentón (smoked paprika) is considered an important spice in several Spanish dishes, particularly sausage products, such as chorizo or sobrasada. It is found in varying intensities from sweet and mild to very hot and spicy. Paprika is also an ingredient of tarhana, a Turkish cereal-yogurt mixture (3).
  • Most paprika sold in the United States is sweet and comes from California or is imported from South America, Spain, or Hungary. In American English, Capsicum annuum is commonly called either chili (hot) or bell pepper (sweet), depending on the variety. In British English the hot varieties are named chillies, and the sweet varieties are simply called peppers. In Australian and Indian English, the term capsicum refers to bell peppers and chili to the hotter varieties.
  • Paprika is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, capsanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (4;5). Capsicum annuum is a source of folate (6).
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

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.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

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.

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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.