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Black Pepper

Black Pepper is a source of piperine, a molecule that does not do much on its own but can inhibit enzymes that would attack other molecules. Due to this, it is ingested alongside some supplements to increase their absorption rates and is almost always consumed with curcumin.

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Summary of Black Pepper

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Black Pepper is a spice commonly used in many areas of the world for flavor. Through its active component Piperine, Black Pepper is able to modify supplement and drug metabolism.

A process in the liver called glucuronidation, which attaches a molecule (glucuronide) to drugs to signal for their urinary excretion, is inhibited with piperine. This process prevents excessive levels of drugs and supplements in the body, but sometimes inhibits all uptake and renders some supplements useless. In the scenario of piperine ingestion, excretion of supplements is hindered and certain drugs and supplements can bypass this regulatory stage (as not all are subject to it).

This is good in some cases, as Piperine is required to give curcumin to the extremities rather than it getting consumed by glucuronidation in the liver. However, in some other cases it can lead to elevated levels of certain drugs in the blood. Again, elevated could be good or bad depending on context; regardless, caution should be taken when approaching this compound.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The usage of black pepper extract for the purpose of enhancing the absorption of other supplements that are glucuronidated (for example, curcumin) tends to call for 20mg of the bioactive piperine.

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

Piper Nigrum, Piperaceae, Piperine

Do Not Confuse With

Red Pepper, Capsaicinoids

Goes Well With

(Note: Synergistic in this sense means that the inhibition of glucuronidation results in an effect which is typically seen as favorable)

Caution Notice

If using any drugs or pharmaceuticals, check with your MD before supplementing anything with Piperine in it in high quantities.

  • Piperine inhibits drug detoxifying enzymes. This typically increases bioavailability of any compound which would normally be attacked by said enzymes. This can be good (ie. curcumin, EGCG) or it can be bad by stopping a protective measure against toxic xenobiotics.

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Click here to see all 9 references.