Piperine (Black Pepper) Extract

Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Overview

Piperine is the active substance in black pepper that provides the herb with all its medicinal goodness. Most people only know black pepper as a common seasoning ingredient but the herb is actually capable of providing remarkable health benefits when used in supplement form.

Piperine’s benefits are extremely diverse. To name a few, piperine has been used to improve digestion and relieve stomach pain, enhance mood and mental function, and to prevent certain diseases. That being said, Piperine is not the kind of supplement that your body crucially needs in order to function properly. Instead, it simply makes a huge difference in your overall supplementation experience because it enhances the effects of other ingredients and boosts nutrient absorption. In other words, piperine has the power to put the extra in the ordinary; it boosts the bioavailability of certain supplements and turns them into highly effective wonder-herbs.

While most people don’t specifically go for piperine supplements, if you happen to see the ingredient in a product’s supplement facts label, know that it’s great news. By giving this article a read, you will explore Piperine’s benefits, how the substance works, how it can be helpful for athletes, whether it’s worth purchasing and which doses are most appropriate.

Benefits

piperine-black-pepper-extract-1_ingredient-breakdown_top-testosterone-supplementPiperine’s main benefit is the reason why the substance is included in so many different supplement formulations. Piperine increases nutrient absorption by boosting the bioavailability of said nutrient. In what kind of situation is this useful? Think of the supplement curcumin ¬– this extract contains powerful anti-cancer properties, can effectively increase testosterone and is a natural anti-inflammatory. However, the human body cannot easily absorb curcumin, which means more often than not, the supplement goes to waste. Piperine prevents this from happening. It increases the bioavailability of curcumin by up to 20x, making the substance much more successful at doing its job. [1]

Piperine administration may also be useful in preventing cancer cell growth. A study conducted in 2008 showed piperine’s effects on colon cancer cells. [2] The substance significantly reduced cancer cell growth, preventing the condition to worsen. Piperine also has antioxidant qualities that protect healthy cells from damage.

Piperine is also a great supplement to use if you are struggling with digestion-related issues, including diarrhea, excess gas, constipation, and bloating. In fact, a 2001 study conducted in India showed how effective piperine is at improving diarrhea and supporting healthy stomach functioning. [3]

Furthermore, piperine can be used as a weight loss support supplement. A 2011 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology showed a new, astounding side to piperine that people were previously unaware of. The study revealed that piperine significantly reduces fat count, total cholesterol and overall weight. [4] It is therefore proposed that piperine can be useful for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity. Athletes and bodybuilders who are looking to shred body fat and gain muscle fast can also use the supplement to enhance their fitness journey.

How It Works

piperine-black-pepper-extract-2_ingredient-breakdown_top-testosterone-supplementWhen our body feels like it’s being overloaded with too many supplements (which can be perceived as toxic foreign substances), it attempts to remove them as quickly as possible. This becomes a major problem when the supplements that we’re taking in the first place are meant to provide health benefits. Not only does it become a waste of money, but it can also lead to a significant depletion of essential minerals and nutrients. Piperine can inhibit this from happening by preventing the body from rejecting these supplements. It does so mainly by reducing the production of glucuronic acid, a substance in the intestines that often hinders nutrient absorption. [5] This way, supplements can easily pass through the body’s main organs without being directly metabolized into waste.

How does piperine help with digestion? It increases the production of important acids that are involved in the process of basic digestion. For instance, low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach lining may lead to poor digestion. Piperine induces hydrochloric acid release, which in turn reduces stomach-related pain. [1]

Recommended Dosage

There is a study that recommends an intake of 4 mg of piperine daily for optimal results. [6] There is no standardized intake for this herbal supplement but we don’t recommend taking a dose that has not previously been tested in clinical trials.

Potential Side Effects

Examine.com lists piperine as being generally safe for consumption. Oral administration of piperine is not known to lead to any side effects, especially when you do not exceed the recommended dose. Further research is required to determine the substance’s side effects, but if you experience stomach pain or headache when using piperine, please discontinue use.

Where to Get It

People typically get their piperine supplement online or simply use it as part of a ready-made supplement stack. Piperine is very affordable and can be bought in either capsule or powder form.

References:

1 http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/top-10-health-benefits-black-pepper.html/2

2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18678136

3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11345706

4 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113382/

5 http://www.evolutionary.org/piperine-how-it-works

6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120