Black Pepper and Piperine
Did you know that black pepper and the alkaloid piperine it contains, has many notable health benefits? Among other healthy qualities, the alkaloid piperine adds to the absorption or bioavailability of other nutrients. In one study in particular from St. Johns Medical College, the bioavailability of curcumin, the key antioxidant in turmeric was enhanced by 2000% when combined with piperine. It seems the medicinal properties of curcumin were only moderately absorbed due its rapid metabolism in the liver and the intestinal wall. Adding piperine to the curcumin slowed the metabolism of the curcumin so that the nutrients could be better absorbed. It appears that pepper aids in the absorption of nutrients by slowing down the intestinal absorption and optimizing liver metabolism of the nutrient.
Other Benefits of Pepper Include
~ Stimulates digestive enzymes of the pancreas – Aiding in digestion
~ Significantly reduces the gastrointestinal food transit time – Aiding in absorption
~ Protects against oxidative damage by quenching free radicals – Protects us from disease
~ Enhances bioavailability or absorption of many therapeutic drugs – Maximizes medicinal qualities of drugs and foods
~ Anti-tumor and anti-mutogenic properties
~ Inhibits enzymes that can attack other nutritive molecules
So, don’t be afraid to pass the pepper. Turns out that there is a lot more to pepper than just a little pungent bite when added to foods especially when combined with Curcumin.