Piperine is a substance derived from black pepper that supports good health in a number of ways.
What is Piperine?
Found in the common spice black pepper and responsible for the condiment’s potent bite, piperine is a valuable nutrient that was first discovered in the nineteenth century and has found many uses in the nutritional and medical fields. Around 1819, piperine was first identified as a substance contained in pepper and, in 1882 was first synthesized. Though present in pepper, piperine is also extracted from pepper seeds and used as a stand-alone product known for its beneficial actions.
The Many Benefits of Piperine
Though black pepper is most commonly used to enhance the flavor of various foods, piperine is also widely credited for helping prevent or curtail a number of health issues, with benefits including:
Absorption and Utilization of Important Nutrients
Occasionally, the human body undergoes a chemical process known as glucoronidation, in which the liver may mistakenly excrete substances designed to provide medicinal benefits through the urine. The consumption of piperine is believed to curtail or possibly even prevent occurrences of this adverse health phenomenon. Additionally, piperine is commonly included in dietary supplement formulations for its ability to increase absorption and utilization of the other ingredients present in a formula.
Aiding the Digestive Tract
Medical professionals and researchers opine that piperine also plays a significant role in regulating the speed with which the intestines digest food. Sometimes, food passes through the intestines too quickly. Such an occurrence might not afford the body enough time to absorb certain nutrients essential for optimal health. Piperine slows overly expedient digestion and can help ebb any potential absorption problems.
Scientists suggest increased ingestion of piperine may help the body complete the biological process of thermogenesis more effectively. This action involves the increase of body temperature for the purpose of metabolizing excess fat cells. Therefore, certain healthcare professionals may prescribe products containing piperine as a means of helping a patient maintain a healthy weight.
The Secretion of Important Neurotransmitters
Elevated bodily concentrations of piperine might stimulate brain secretion of serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are vital to a person’s mood and feelings of well-being. Decreasing levels of these important substances could precipitate various mood disorders and eventually lead to more serious mental health manifestations such as depression.
Increased serotonin levels are also believed to prove critical to certain cognitive functions such as memory skills. In addition to serotonin, piperine also might enhance the secretion of beat-endorphin, another substance important to lasting memory, particularly as people grow older.
Boosting the Immune System
Piperine is believed to help modulate systemic inflammation. Inflammation can occur in any of the body’s cells, tissues and organs. Should a significant amount of inflammation build up, damage to such structures can occur. Cellular destruction in muscles and bones often produces physical manifestations like pain. However, when such adverse consequences impact vital organs, major illnesses could result. Inflammation has been attributed to various immune system disorders, in addition to serious medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Decreasing Digestive Problems
Piperine is thought to stimulate digestive enzymes that help the digestive tract synthesize food more efficiently. Those who ingest the substance may experience fewer gastrointestinal symptoms like gas, bloating, nausea, constipation and cramps.
Products Containing Piperine
Piperine is a natural substance that is widely considered to be safe and provide numerous health benefits. Additionally, the product can be consumed rather easily either by using black pepper as an ingredient in or as a flavor enhancer on the foods individuals often consume. Consuming black pepper is the most direct method to reap the health benefits of piperine. That said, the substance is also included in a variety of dietary and nutritional supplements. Because of piperine’s ability to help the body better and more effectively absorb crucial nutrients, piperine is often included in supplements.