Piperine is an alkaloid like morphine, nicotine, or even cocaine. Alkaloids can be poisonous or possess medicinal attributes. It is a good alkaloid as it has medicinal attributes that are very beneficial to one’s health.
This nutrient is also found in black pepper and botanically related plants. The uses of it range from medicinal uses to, of course, culinary uses in the Western world.
Beyond its use as a condiment and in cooking, as contained in black pepper it is actually classified by many naturopaths as a very potent herb with many uses.
Its benefits are substantial as it enhances the assimilation of other key nutrients including beta-carotene, selenium, vitamin B6, curcumin, amino acids, and even blood sugar (glucose).
Its benefits also range from improving digestion to helping with asthma complications, to improving stomach ulceration, as an inflammatory agent (something of keen interest to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers), and in serotonin production.
In fact, piperine and serotonin together seem to play a role in mood enhancement. Additionally, the piperine found in black pepper extract was found in a 1994 study to reduce cigarette craving by inhaling the vapor.
It’s even been widely reported that piperine and weight loss are also linked in that many believe this nutrient of black pepper has thermogenic properties (weight loss capability). Is this true or exaggeration? yes and no is the answer.
Studies have proven that piperine does increase thermogenic activity as it increases the body’s metabolic rate, which does help weight loss, but to canonize it as a weight loss aid is exaggeration at this point and requires more studies to validate that premise.
The link between piperine and weight loss exists as it does increase the body’s metabolic rate with more fat burning activity. In time, it’s possible this nutrient will be a weight loss staple.
Piperine Extract Cancer
Let’s discuss the piperine extract cancer connection. Some studies show promise with regards to cancer research and piper-ine. Rodent studies have shown a reduction in symptoms relating to various cancers, but at this juncture, more study needs to be conducted before the piperine extract cancer connection is canonized. An aside.
In this 21st century, many Westerners have been bred to expect instant results. Our view is that there is no magic pill that will “cure cancer” or any other degenerative disease as there are simply too many factors involved. I believe one can reverse cancer, but there are many factors involved, i.e., diet, visualization, lifestyle change, etc. This nutrient may in time appear to be a panacea, but we predict it will be a part of the solution, not THE solution.
The Serotonin Connection
The Piperine and Serotonin connection…. Serotonin is a pain-relieving neurotransmitter and a mood enhancer. Many researchers postulate that piperine may help enhance the production of serotonin in the brain. In addition, studies have been shown that it does help the body assimilate various nutrients as mentioned in the first section of this page.
A study was done in New Jersey to investigate if it could enhance absorption of beta-carotene. The results showed 5mg/day dose of piper-ine taken with 15mg of beta-carotene resulted in a 60% increase in beta-carotene levels compared with a placebo. This nutrient has gained in popularity in the West (it’s been used in the Orient for centuries as a therapeutic agent) for its robust anti-inflammatory properties. Rheumatoid arthritis patients and others
Precautions & Recommendations
Some general precautions: Any pregnant and/or nursing women should always get doctor approval before taking any kind supplement or potent nutrient. If you’re taking medication as well, it’s advised you talk to a doctor before you do so as prescription medications can wrongfully intermingle with them. Overall, it appears to be safe.
Of course, anything used to excess can be harmful. Err on the side of caution. If using black pepper as an herbal, it’s recommended using it fresh by buying peppercorns and grinding it fresh. Store bought pepper may have preservatives added to it for shelf life or to keep vermin out. Also, if possible, don’t heat it as heating it changes the molecular structure quickly making it inorganic and an irritant to the kidney, liver, and gall bladder organs.
If you want to add the benefits of this nutrient to your health, we’ve come across a product by a New Zealand company that produces a pharmaceutical-grade quality multivitamin supplement that has piperine extract. This supplement has over 80 nutrients in it including curcumin, selenium, the complete B complex, and other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal extracts, and other rare, specialty nutrients.
I’ve been taking this multivitamin multimineral supplement with piperine for over a year and are very pleased with the results to our health.
I hope this piperine information page has been useful to you.
Yours in health,