Piperine is the chemical that makes black pepper spicy. It might prevent inflammation and oxidative stress and holds promise in treating diseases as diverse as diabetes, epilepsy, vitiligo, and Parkinson’s. It may also increase metabolism and weight loss, enhance cholesterol, enhance brain function, and reduce pain. Keep reading to learn about the many benefits of piperine.
What’s Black Pepper?
Black pepper is your hottest spice on the planet.
Long before scientific study explained how it worked, black pepper has been used as a folk medication to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including rheumatism, influenza, muscle pains, chills, fevers, migraines, and digestive problems. It was also utilized to enhance blood flow and stimulate desire.
Piperine is the active ingredient in black pepper and is accountable for a whole lot of its own effects. It’s what gives pepper its hot, pungent flavor.
In pure form, it’s a white or pale yellow crystal powder. It tastes similar to pepper and accounts for 98% of the alkaloids found in black pepper.
It is also classified as a cinnamamide. These are compounds that have sedative, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant properties.
Piperine has numerous potential health advantages. It could protect against inflammation, enhance cognitive functioning, mood, allergies, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
It is also an antioxidant and may improve the bioavailability of a number of different drugs and supplements. This means our bodies are able to use them more effectively.
Mechanism of Action
Piperine has many potential consequences on the entire body. These include:
- Decreasing inflammation. It can decrease the levels of cytokines that promote inflammation (IL-1b, TNF-α, and PGE2) and raise the amounts of cytokines that decrease inflammation (IL-10).
- Increasing bioavailability of several medications and nutritional supplements. By inhibiting the detoxification enzymes that break down medications (such as CYP3A4) and increasing drug/substance absorption from the intestine, piperine might increase the body’s capacity to make use of many different chemicals.
- Acting as an antioxidant. It acts directly as a hydroxyl and superoxide radical scavenger.
- Inhibiting prostaglandins (hormone-like fats). This may help with diarrhea.
- Increasing dopamine and serotonin from the brain — this may help improve mood, cognitive function, and fight off neurodegenerative diseases.
- Increasing muscle metabolism by increasing ATPase activity. This may increase the use of energy by the muscles and also assist in weight reduction.
- May increase the availability of several medications and supplements
- Potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and glucose – and fat-lowering effects, especially in combination with curcumin
- Few moderate adverse effects reported
- Most clinical trials united together with 100x higher quantities of curcumin
- Most effects have only been tested in cells and animals
- High threat of interaction with drugs
Likely Effective for:
Increasing Supplement/Drug Bioavailability
Piperine has been identified in 1979 as the first-ever compound ever that enhances the”bioavailability” of other materials.
To put it differently, piperine increases the capability of the body to utilize nutrients and drugs.
It follows that lower or fewer doses of the drug can be used to achieve the exact same effect. This is very beneficial in regards to drugs which have unpleasant side effects!
Piperine does this by:
- Stopping the body from breaking down drugs by blocking drug-metabolizing enzymes from the liver (such as CYP3A4, CYP2E1, CYP1B1, and CYP1B2)
- increasing the number of medications and nutrients absorbed in the gut by arousing gut transporters
For example, piperine improved the bioavailability of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, in rats by 154 percent, and in humans by two,000%.
Piperine also improved the bloodstream concentration and endurance of the thyroid medication carbamazepine in two trials on 32 people, perhaps by blocking the enzyme that breaks this medication down (CYP3A4). In the same way, it raised the bioavailability of the muscle relaxant chlorzoxazone in another trial by blocking the enzyme CYP2E1.
An herbal infusion combining piperine and curcumin improved the bioavailability of the sedative midazolam, the anti-inflammatory flurbiprofen, and the painkiller Tylenol in 8 healthy volunteers.
A drug delivery system composed of piperine lipospheres improved the bioavailability of both THC and CBD compared to the FDA-approved spray Sativex at a small trial on 9 healthy volunteers.
All in all, the evidence suggests that piperine increases the bioavailability of many substances. Remember to consult with your health care provider if it could assist in your situation and in the event that you should readjust the dose of any supplements or drugs after beginning to take piperine.
Insufficient Evidence for:
The subsequent purported benefits are only supported by restricted, low-quality clinical research and animal or cell-based research. There’s inadequate evidence to support the use of piperine for some of those below-listed uses. Don’t forget to speak with a doctor before taking piperine nutritional supplements. Piperine should never be used as a replacement for approved medical treatments.
Significantly, all the research examining piperine alone was performed in cells or animals, while people in humans normally utilized a mix with 100x more curcumin than pipelines. More clinical trials analyzing piperine alone are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
Piperine may shield against oxidative stress by removing free radicals (such as hydroxyl and superoxide) from the entire body.
In a small trial on 20 individuals with pancreatitis, a blend of curcumin (500 milligrams ) and piperine (5 mg) improved their antioxidant status (lower fat peroxidation and MDA and higher glutathione levels). Combinations with exactly the same percentage of curcumin and piperine also improved antioxidant status in 3 trials on over 100 individuals with metabolic syndrome, nearly 100 individuals with chronic lung disease, and 40 individuals with atherosclerosis.
Together with regular hazard factors such as radiation and pollutants, a high-fat diet can cause the production of free radicals. When piperine was given to rats who had been residing on a high-fat diet, the number of free radicals decreased. In addition, it raised the levels of enzymes that neutralize free radicals (SOD, CAT, GPx, and GST).
In cell studies, reduced doses of piperine reduced the degrees of free radicals. However, very high doses may lead to free radical generation.
In a clinical trial on over 100 people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, a combination of curcumin and piperine had anti-inflammatory effects (measured as reduced CRP levels). However, the mix comprised 100x more curcumin compared to piperine.
A similar combination also reduced inflammation (reduced levels of IL4, IL-6, and CRP) at a clinical trial on 40 people with knee osteoarthritis.
Piperine reduced both short- and – long-term indicators of inflammation in rats.
In rats with arthritis, piperine reduced pain as well as also the size of the swollen joint areas (and diminished inflammatory compounds such as IL-6, MMP13, PGE2).
In rats with gum disease (periodontitis), piperine reduced gum inflammation and bone loss. Additionally, it decreased the production of these inflammatory molecules IL-1β, MMP-8 and MMP-13.
In addition, it decreased inflammation in mice with inflammation of the uterus (endometritis).
In mice with acute lung injury caused by lipopolysaccharides, piperine reduced the generation of cytokines which cause inflammation. It also reduced the accumulation of white blood cells along with the build-up of extra fluid in the lungs.
3) Enhancing Blood Cholesterol
In two clinical trials over 200 individuals with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, a mix of 1,000 mg/day curcumin and 10 mg/day piperine reduced total cholesterol and LDL- and VLDL cholesterol (the “bad” type) while raising HDL-cholesterol (the”good” type).
Rats with elevated levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood were fed pipeline for 3 weeks. Without a change in diet, their levels of overall, LDL– and VLDL–cholesterol diminished while HDL–cholesterol improved.
4) Cardiovascular Outcomes
As mentioned before, the combination of curcumin (1,000 mg/day) and piperine (10 mg/day) improved cognitive, inflammatory, and blood glucose status in 2 clinical trials on over 200 individuals.
Supplementation with piperine in rats with metabolic syndrome decreased blood pressure, improved glucose tolerance, decreased blood markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, prevented tissue damage and inflammation in the liver (fibrosis) and also improved liver function.
5) Lowering Blood Sugar
In a clinical trial on 100 people with type 2 diabetes, also a combination of 500 mg/day curcumin and 5 mg/day piperine lowered blood glucose and reduced liver damage.
In diabetic mice, a very low dose of piperine (20 mg/kg body weight) decreased blood sugar. However, higher doses raised blood sugar levels.
Vitiligo is a long-term condition where skin patches eliminate pigmentation. In a clinical trial on 63 people with vitiligo on the face, a joint treatment of piperine and narrowband UV-B radiation enhanced epidermis repigmentation.
Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of piperine for some of the conditions listed within this part. Below is a list of the present creature and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. On the other hand, the studies shouldn’t be interpreted as encouraging any health advantage.
Multiple animal studies suggest that piperine may boost brain function.
For example, rats fed piperine learned faster and retained memories longer.
Additionally, it increased brain function in rats with Alzheimer’s disease. Rats fed piperine had improved memory in comparison to control rats.
Piperine shielded the hippocampus and the cerebrospinal fluid from free radicals. It also resulted in the rise of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a brain area heavily involved in memory.
Piperine had antidepressant effects in mice subjected to chronic stress. This effect was connected to the increased creation of brand new brain cells and improved BDNF levels from the hippocampus.
Likewise, another study demonstrated a 2-week administration of piperine decreased depression in mice. It also raised levels of serotonin in the hippocampus and the hypothalamus.
Depression is common in epilepsy. In rats with epilepsy, dietary piperine decreased symptoms of depression from increasing serotonin levels.
Piperine’s capacity to enhance the effects of other drugs is also helpful in regards to depression. Resveratrol is a chemical which could decrease depression, also this antidepressant works in mice when combined with piperine.
In mice with Parkinson’s disease, piperine improved motor coordination. It also enhanced brain function and learning.
Increasing dopamine amounts have become the most common approach to treat Parkinson’s disease. Piperine inhibits MAO-A and MAO-B, the enzymes which break nitric oxide, possibly raising overall serotonin levels from the brain.
Piperine also averted the death of dopamine neurons in mice. It protected neurons because it is an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, and prevents programmed cell death.
Piperine reduces inflammation and inhibits the immune system, which makes it a good candidate for preventing and treating allergies.
In mice, piperine reduces sneezing, nose-rubbing, along with other symptoms of allergies. It dose-dependently diminished histamine, nitric oxide, IgE, and inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1b.
It also prevented the release of histamine from rat mast cells (a type of white blood cells) and diminished inflammatory IL-4, IL-13, and TNF-a generation.
As little as 5 milligrams of piperine per kilogram of body weight reduced pain in mice and rats. In people, this would be roughly equal to 1/6th of a tsp.
A second study in mice demonstrated that high doses, around 30 to 70 mg per kg body weight, had an identical impact on indomethacin, a pain-relieving drug similar to aspirin or ibuprofen.
Rats with high levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood lost weight and fat mass if piperine was added into their diet.
Additionally, piperine raised the number of calories burned off by muscle isolated from rabbits. This boost in metabolism might offer another explanation of why this compound helps with weight loss in animals.
Piperine slowed and prevented the production of fat cells.
Lowering Blood Pressure
Piperine caused a significant drop in average blood pressure when fed to rats.
In the second study in rats, it was able to partly prevent the rise in blood pressure caused by a drug (NOS inhibitor).
High blood pressure causes artery walls to be rigid, which is a predictor of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In rats, piperine prevented artery walls out of hardening, maintaining arteries young, healthful, and flexible.
Gallstones are formed out of crystallized cholesterol in the gut. Piperine prevented cholesterol gallstone formation in mice by cutting back on the size of cholesterol and decreasing the transfer of cholesterol from the liver into the gallbladder.
Growing Nutrient Uptake in the Gut
A preliminary study indicates that piperine allows the body to absorb more nutrients making it simpler for them to pass through the membrane (inner layer) of this gut. It might also increase the surface of the intestine which can absorb nutrients from food, further fostering the gut’s efficacy.
Piperine prevented diarrhea in mice. In rabbits and guinea pigs, it functioned as well as loperamide, another medication used to treat diarrhea — but without inducing any of loperamide’s normal side effects.
Additionally, it has anti-spasmodic action, meaning it may reduce muscle spasms in the digestive tract.
Piperine prevented the formation of ulcers in rats and mice. It had been effective against ulcers caused by stress, hydrochloric acid, and the pain reliever indomethacin.
Heliobacter pylori is a bacteria that causes chronic stomach inflammation, peptic ulcers, and, in rare cases, stomach cancer. Piperine inhibited H. pylori from sticking and growing with cells, which may lower the chances of disease.
In many (although not all) rodent models of epilepsy, piperine decreased the number of seizures and deaths from seizures with doses as low as 10 mg per kg of body weight.
Below, we will explore some preliminary studies on piperine’s potential anticancer effects. It is still in the animal and mobile stage and further clinical studies have yet to ascertain whether its infusion may be helpful in cancer treatments.
Don’t under any circumstances try to replace conventional cancer treatments with white piperine or any other supplements. If you want to use it as a supportive step, talk to your doctor to avoid any unexpected interactions.
In skin cancer (melanoma), piperine prevented tumor cells by spreading to other areas of the body (metastasis) resulting in significantly better survival rates in mice.
It also decreased tumor growth and metastasis in mice with breast cancer.
Piperine prevented breast cancer (with 80-90% effectiveness ) and decreased breast cancer development in rats.
It slowed the growth of colon, prostate, and breast cancer cells.
Piperine may fight cancer in a lot of ways. It could :
- Create free radicals in cancer cells — the same items that it protects the body against through its role as an antioxidant in ordinary cells.
- Reduce the degree of cyclin B1, a protein that allows cells to divide.
- Cause programmed cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells by raising p21 and triggering caspase 3.
Additionally, piperine increased the bioavailability of other tumor-fighting medications, boosting their effectiveness, in animal models of cancer.
Health Effects That Can Be Positive Or Negative
Animal and Cellular Research (Lack of Proof )
Lowering Thyroid Hormones
In a study using mice, piperine (2.5 mg/kg) reduced the degrees of thyroid hormones as much as standard anti-thyroid medications did.
This may be good for people that have elevated thyroid hormones. But, reducing thyroid levels in healthy men and women could be detrimental. Low levels can cause symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and shortness of breath.
Suppressing or Enhancing the Immune System
T-cells and B-cells are immune system cells that fight bacteria and other invaders. In mice, piperine decreased the number of T-cells and B-cells and retained T-cells from being activated.
When the body feels an invader like bacteria, it sends dendritic cells into the lymph nodes to trigger the T-cells. In mice, piperine kept dendritic cells from making and forced them less able to go to the lymph nodes.
Finally, it reduced the production of molecules that increase immunity (IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-4, IgM, IgG2b, IgG3) or cause discomfort in response to invasion (IL-6, TNF-α).
Immune system suppression can be harmful to healthy individuals, but with additional study, it could help in treating autoimmune disorders.
On the flip side, piperine can also boost the immune system. In mice, it caused a rise in the production of IL-6 and TNF-α, indicate molecules that cause inflammation in response to infection.
Mice fed piperine was not as inclined to come up with a bacterial infection or sepsis.
Slowing Gut Transit
One study looked at the motion of food and liquids throughout the digestive system in mice and rats. Low doses of piperine (1 to 2 1.3 mg/kg body weight) increased the time it took for solids to travel throughout the digestive tract. There was no change for fluids.
Another mouse study demonstrated that doses as low as 0.5 mg/kg slowed the time for food to move through the digestive tract.
Slowing the passage of food reduces hunger, so piperine could potentially help control hunger and weight.
Negative Health Effects
Animal and Cell Research (Lack of Evidence)
One study in male mice revealed that piperine damaged sperm. Piperine increased the number of harmful radicals in the epididymis, the tube in which sperm is stored.
It also reduced the number of semen and their capacity to maneuver in rats.
These fertility consequences occurred with dosages as low as 10 mg/kg body weight in rats.
Finally, piperine will prevent pregnancy by stopping fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus. In mice, piperine injections reduced the amount of planted eggs by half.
Increasing the Bioavailability of Some Toxins
This compound may boost poison bioavailability from the same mechanisms that improve supplement and drug bioavailability.
Rats treated with piperine accumulated more aflatoxin B1 (a poison from parasites which causes liver damage and cancer) in their cells .
Limitations and Caveats
While piperine shows plenty of potential for treating many ailments and diseases, lots of research were performed in animals only. Individual trials are therefore needed to confirm these health benefits in people.
Side Effects & Precautions
Remember that the security profile of piperine is comparatively unknown, given the absence of clinical studies. The list of side effects is not a definite one and you should speak to your physician about other potential side effects based on your health condition and possible medication or supplement interactions.
Piperine is a generally non-toxic chemical with few side effects.
One study with human volunteers reported that piperine caused no adverse consequences.
Some people reported nausea and gut discomfort when using the supplement.
As much as 250 times the average human consumption caused no toxicity in rats.
Piperine was once thought to be cancer-causing since it has a similar structure to some cancer-causing chemicals. However, preliminary research suggests that it might actually shield against cancer.
Supplement/Herb/Nutrient-drug interactions could be harmful and, in rare circumstances, even life-threatening. Always consult your doctor before supplementing and inform them about all drugs and supplements you are using or considering.
Piperine is a bioavailability enhancer, meaning it helps the body make use of other compounds. As such, it may cause many medications and supplements to have greater effects at lower dosages.
It may enhance the effect of several drugs (such as those metabolized by CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 enzymes):
- Diclofenac (a non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication )
- Ibuprofen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
- Fexofenadine (an allergy medication)
- Carbamazepine (anti-epileptic)
- Chlorzoxazone (muscle relaxant)
- Ampicillin trihydrate (a Kind of penicillin, which is an antibiotic)
- Norfloxacin (antibiotic)
- Nevirapine (a drug used to treat HIV)
- Domperidone (anti-emetic medication)
- Docetaxel (anti-cancer medication)
- Glimepiride (anti-diabetic)
- Nateglinide (anti-diabetic)
- Metformin (anti-diabetic)
Piperine also enhanced the effect of nutritional supplements such as beta-carotene, curcumin, and resveratrol.
However, it prevented the antidiabetic effects of curcumin in rats.
The regular sort of black pepper that you likely have in your kitchen at home is 0.4-7.0% piperine.
Slightly lower amounts are located in white pepper, long pepper, and Balinese long pepper.
Piperine supplements are sold both as a powder and as tablets.
Since piperine is not approved by the FDA for almost any conditions, there’s not an official dose. Users and nutritional supplement manufacturers have established unofficial dosages based on trial and error. Talk with your doctor if piperine may be useful as a complementary strategy on your case and which dose you should take.
In people, a dose of 20 milligrams per day could increase the bioavailability of curcumin.
There has been a number of human studies for its other advantages of piperine. However, these daily doses have been effective in rats and mice:
- For pain relief: 30 — 70 mg/kg body fat.
- To enhance brain function: 5 — 50 mg/kg body fat.
- To lower blood pressure: 10 mg/kg body weight.
- For antioxidant effects: 20 mg/kg body fat.
Ordinary black pepper is around 0.4 — 7.0% piperine. Therefore, to get 1 total g of piperine from black pepper, someone would need to consume more than half a teaspoon of black pepper! Unsurprisingly, it’s encouraged to utilize piperine supplements for all these doses rather.
The opinions expressed in this section are solely those of piperine users, who may or may not have scientific or medical training. Their reviews do not represent the opinions of us. We do not endorse any particular solution, service, or therapy.
Don’t consider user adventures as medical information. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your health care provider or other qualified healthcare providers due to something you’ve read on this website. We understand that studying person, real-life experiences can be a very helpful resource, but it’s not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or therapy from a qualified healthcare provider.
Most consumers took in piperine to improve the absorption of other supplements or drugs. They were generally pleased with the results and reported noticing the effects of the substances at reduced doses. An extra advantage of this supplement based on some users has been its low cost. Other users reporting great results took it as a pain reliever.
Most dissatisfied users reported not discovering any effects when combining pipeline with other nutritional supplements for enhanced absorption.
But some users complained that piperine was too effective at increasing the absorption of other materials. For example, one whined about enhanced caffeine intake, which led to nausea and an overall feeling of discomfort lasting for many hours.