Black Pepper (Piperine) Latest Research Included

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Black pepper is a popular spice used in cooking to increase flavor. It is derived from the peppercorn, a dried, unripe fruit. Peppercorns are picked at the point of maturity and allowed to dry until they become black.

Pepper is a source of piperine, an alkaloid that acts to act as an antioxidant. A tablespoon of black pepper contains the equivalent of 6 calories and one Gram (g) of fiber. Piperine may also be purchased as a supplement.

This article focuses on black pepper and includes piperine supplements, possible applications in the health field, and more.

Supplement Facts

  • Active ingredient(s): Piperine
  • Alternative name(s): Piper Nigrum, Piperine, Piperaceae
  • Suggested dosage There is no dosage standard; the most commonly used dose for supplements in studies was curcumin and 5 mg piperine.
  • Safety concerns: The drug is safe when added to food or as a supplement. Piperine should be taken with caution for those suffering from bleeding disorders, diabetes, and digestive disorders. Piperine can interact with certain medicines.

Uses of Black Pepper

Supplements should be tailored to your needs and reviewed by a health professional, for example, a registered dietitian pharmacist, or healthcare professional. The purpose of supplements is not to cure, treat, or prevent illness.

Black pepper is popular because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It's been suggested that it can help with cognitive brain function as well as digestion. It also has antibacterial and antidepressant properties.

However, only a handful of human clinical trials have examined the results that black pepper can provide as a food supplement.

Here are some advantages of black pepper's health benefits. It is important to note that the research studies examined make use of a curcumin supplement with piperine. Curcumin is an active ingredient present within the turmeric spice. It is, therefore, unclear if the result is due to one or the other compound.

Furthermore, the majority of results of studies are based on laboratory results but not clinically significant results like a decreased chance of having a heart attack or other complications of diabetes.

The research is in its beginning, and it's not enough to warrant frequent supplementation with piperine or black pepper.

May Lower Cholesterol Levels

Research has examined whether mixing curcumin and piperine might enhance the lipid profile, which may prevent heart disease.

A meta-analysis found that piperine and curcumin significantly decreased total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (considered “bad” cholesterol) in those suffering from metabolic syndrome.

Another double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluated outcomes of 500 milligrams of curcumin capsules and piperine supplements in patients who have had a previous heart attack.

After 8 months, this supplement decreased hemoglobin A1C levels, LDL cholesterol, and liver enzymes. The supplement also significantly enhanced the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (considered “good” cholesterol).

While the results appear promising, the study's populations were not large, and larger-scale studies will be required to confirm them.

May help improve the Glucose Control

Combining piperine and curcumin may help lower blood glucose (blood sugar) levels for people suffering from diabetes. Controlling blood glucose is crucial to prevent more complications.

For patients with diabetes, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or A1c) levels are measured over a 3-month period to determine the average glucose levels during the last three months.

In a small study with 71 participants, subjects were randomized to receive either the placebo (an ineffective substance) or a supplement with 5 mg of piperine and 500 mg of curcumin. Within 120 days, the participants who were taking the supplement had significantly lower levels of glucose, hemoglobin A1C, and triglycerides (fat found in blood).

For people suffering from type 2 diabetes, a daily dosage of curcumin 500 mg and 5 mg piperine (compared to placebo) significantly decreased blood glucose, C-peptide, and A1c levels.

The supplement also dramatically reduced liver enzymes but didn't alter the levels of C-reactive protein.

May Improve Liver Health

Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), previously known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is a group of conditions with a fatty buildup in the liver. The most common causes are obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance.

Some reports suggest piperine when combined with curcumin could improve the liver function of patients who are diagnosed with MASLD

A study found that treatment for short duration using piperine and curcumin appeared to decrease the degree of MASLD.

Another study randomized 70 participants who had MASLD to receive a dose consisting of 500 mg curcuminoids and 5 mg piperine daily or a placebo over 12 weeks. The study concluded that at the end of the study, people who received the supplement showed significantly lower levels of liver enzymes in the blood and had less severe MASLD.

Another study that used similar treatment regimens in people suffering from hepatic steatosis found that the supplement increased liver function enzymes and cholesterol profiles. However, it did not enhance fibroscan tests, which serve to determine the improvement in MASLD.

What Are the Side Effects of Black Pepper?

There aren't many adverse effects associated with black pepper.

Higher doses of black pepper can cause a burning sensation in the stomach or throat, as well as heartburn and reflux.

Precautions

The amount of black pepper that is typically used in food products is considered safe.

While it is safe in the normal amount however, large amounts of black pepper haven't been tested to assess the safety of pregnant women breastfeeding women, pregnant women, or children.

Studies in the lab have indicated that piperine, a chemical present in pepper, could reduce blood clotting. In high doses, it could cause bleeding. In this regard, it is recommended to stop taking the piperine supplementation for two weeks prior to any scheduled surgery.

Patients with diabetes must monitor their glucose levels with care since piperine can decrease blood sugar levels. Piperine can lower the amount of medication required. Diabetes sufferers should discuss supplementing their diet with their primary healthcare provider to determine whether dose adjustments are necessary.

Patients suffering from digestive (GI) diseases like IBD or inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are not able to take to pepper, however this may vary from person to person.

Dosage: How Much Black Pepper Should I Take?

There isn't a prescribed dosage for black pepper.

Studies have revealed that doses of piperine can vary from 5 mg to 20 mg daily. Five mg is typically the most popular dose utilized in research studies.

Always consult your physician prior to taking a supplement to ensure that the dosage and supplement are appropriate for your personal requirements.

Interactions

Piperine is a drug that can be a drug that interacts with other medications.

A few studies have proven that piperine has the ability to lower blood sugar levels.

Combining drugs to reduce sugar levels and piperine may possibly cause hypoglycemia. Diabetes sufferers should consult with their primary physician or any other healthcare provider prior to taking the supplements. It may be necessary to keep track of your blood glucose levels regularly.

Piperine could also hinder blood clotting. Combining piperine with anticoagulant medicines such as Jantoven (warfarin) can increase your risk of bleeding or bruises since they both have similar effects.

Piperine can hinder the degrading of various drugs inside the liver. It can also slow down their breakdown, thereby increasing the effects of the drug. This could include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen)
  • Lipid-lowering medications, such as Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Fexofenadine is a medication that can be used to treat Allegra as well as Mucinex Allergy

However, research on the interactions of these substances was conducted on animals and employed higher-than-normal piperine doses.

Piperine may increase the rate at which the body absorbs certain drugs This includes:

  • Phenytoin
  • Propranolol
  • Rifampin
  • Theophylline
  • Amoxicillin
  • Carbamazepine

It is possible that this will enhance the effects and possibly adverse effects of these drugs.

It is crucial to read a supplement's list of ingredients and nutrition facts section to determine what ingredients are included and how much of each ingredient is included. Check the supplement's label and consult your doctor to discuss potential interactions with food, other supplements, or medicines.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the active ingredient in black pepper?

Piperine is the main ingredient in black pepper. It's an alkaloid that has antioxidant properties.

Where did black pepper originate from?

Pepper is a fruit of the plant Piper nigrum. The dried berries, which are small in size, are peppercorns. They are picked at the point of maturity and then allowed to dry out until they begin to turn black.

Can black pepper be beneficial for those suffering from COVID-19?

There isn't enough evidence to justify the use of curcumin in piperine supplementation to treat COVID-19. One study concluded that the supplement helped improve the inflammation markers, however it did not affect mortality.

Another study showed the supplementation of curcumin with piperine did not alter inflammatory or other blood indicators, but did help to improve the weakness. However, the study was restricted to the participants (only 46 participants).

Sources of Black Pepper & What to Look For

Black pepper is sold as a spice that is easy to add to food items or cook with.

There are a variety of varieties of pepper that are available, such as white peppercorns and red flakes. The information provided within this post is specifically for black pepper.

If you're searching to supplement your diet, you may discover piperine on its own, however it's usually the combination of curcumin with piperine. Piperine can also be included in supplements for treating inflammation, that include different ingredients.

Be sure to look at supplements that have been tested by a third party. Examined by a third party signifies that the supplement has been analyzed to ensure that it contains the ingredients listed on the label and is not contaminated.

Summary

Black pepper is a typical spice used in food preparation. Piperine, a chemical present in pepper, is being examined for its health benefits. The preliminary results indicate that piperine (combined with curcumin) could improve lipid profiles, sugar control, glucose levels, and liver function enzymes.

More research is needed to determine if piperine supplementation could result in a lower risk of developing disease.

Discuss the use of your supplements with a physician to ensure that you are not advised in specific circumstances and may be incompatible with prescribed medication.

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