Fact Checked By Lindsay Delk, RDN
August 24, 2021
You probably have black pepper in your kitchen right now. It adds flavor to many foods in your everyday cooking.
But did you know that in addition to adding flavor to your food, black pepper has many benefits for your health?
Black Pepper & Piperine
Black pepper is a spice that has been used for generations in many cuisines throughout the world.
In fact, it is the most widely used spice in the world.
It has been called the “King of Spices.” The scientific name for black pepper is Piper nigrum.
Piper nigrum is native to southwest India, but most of it today is produced in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Brazil (1).
The peppercorn is the dried unripe fruit of the vine plant. Its color will depend on when it is harvested, but black pepper is the most common.
If you pick almost-ripe peppercorns and leave them to dry until they turn black, you will get black peppercorns.
Many cultures have used black pepper through the years as a type of medicine to treat a variety of illnesses.
The spicy biting flavor of black pepper as well as most of the health benefits come from its major active component, piperine. Piperine is black pepper extract.
What is BioPerine?
As mentioned above, the active component of black pepper is piperine.
BioPerine is simply a brand of piperine. BioPerine and piperine are names for the same thing—black pepper extract.
BioPerine is made from all-natural peppercorn.
It is highly concentrated piperine, containing at least 95% of the active compound (2).
You would have to eat an enormous amount of black pepper each day to get the amount of piperine in a small amount of BioPerine.
BioPerine is the only source of piperine that has been studied in clinical research in the United States and other countries, showing that it is safe and effective (3).
BioPerine is non-GMO, halal-certified, and kosher-certified (4).
Benefits of BioPerine (Piperine)
Increasing bioavailability means increasing your body‘s ability to absorb and use nutrients or drugs.
This is sometimes referred to as bioenhancement. For nutrients, this means you get more nutrients from the food or supplements that you consume.
For prescription drugs or medicines, higher bioavailability means you could possibly lower the amount of the drug that you need to take to get the same results (6).
This could reduce your cost for the medicine and the side effects associated with the medicine.
But, you need to talk to your doctor first in case he/she should adjust your dosage and to make sure that piperine doesn’t interact with any of your medication.
Research shows that piperine may increase bioavailability by making it easier for the nutrients and medicine to pass through the inner layer of the gut (7).
It may also increase the surface of the gut so that more nutrients and medicine can be absorbed.
BioPerine has been used as a bioenhancer for over 20 years (8).
When taken with various nutrients, it enhances the bioavailability of those nutrients.
BioPerine is especially effective at enhancing the absorption of CoQ10, selenium, vitamin C, beta carotene, iron, vitamin B6, resveratrol, and curcumin in turmeric.
Curcumin, the most beneficial ingredient in turmeric, has many health benefits.
But you only absorb a fraction of what you eat.
So, adding piperine to your curcumin increases the health effects.
Combining piperine with curcumin has been shown to increase curcumin bioavailability by 2000% (9).
Antioxidants fight harmful free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are molecules that cause oxidative stress and damage your cells.
This damage can lead to chronic diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers.
Piperine has a direct antioxidant effect against free radicals (10).
In one study, taking a piperine supplement decreased the oxidative stress on cells caused by a high-fat diet. (11)
BioPerine can fight this inflammation. One study found that piperine eased inflammation and even helped relieve pain (13).
Piperine had anti-inflammatory effects, including easing arthritis symptoms in rats (14).
Piperine reduced pain and the size of the swollen joints.
In another study, the anti-inflammatory effects of piperine showed promise as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (15).
In a study in which piperine was given to obese rats following a high-fat diet, piperine lowered triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL levels (bad cholesterol), VLDL levels, and increased HDL levels (good cholesterol) (18).
High levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, and VLDL increase your risk for heart disease.
High levels of HDL decrease your risk for heart disease (19).
Metabolic syndrome can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
BioPerine may be able to help with metabolic syndrome.
When rats with metabolic syndrome were given piperine, their blood pressure decreased, their glucose tolerance improved, and they had less inflammation and oxidative stress (21).
Piperine stimulates the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate our mood and allows brain cells to communicate with each other (25).
One study showed that piperine had anti-depressant effects and enhanced cognitive (thinking) function (26).
Now when you see BioPerine (piperine) on your supplement label, you will know what it is and what benefits it provides. It is a safe, concentrated form of black pepper extract.
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