Black Pepper

Last Updated: August 20 2020

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.

Black Pepper is most often used for

Summary

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.

What else is Black Pepper known as?
Note that Black Pepper is also known as:
  • Piper Nigrum
  • Piperaceae
  • Piperine
Black Pepper should not be confused with:
  • Red Pepper
  • Capsaicinoids
Dosage information

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.