Traditionally, people from different countries used black and white pepper. As for the Chinese, they used pepper for the treatment of some diseases like diarrhea, cholera, malaria and dysentery. While in India and other countries, it is used as spices and even traded it worldwide. These peppers are a native to India but Vietnam is the top source of this product.
These peppers have Piperine content in it. In 1820, Piperine was discovered by Hans Christian Orsted who is a Danish physicist and chemist and this was counted as one of the greatest contribution to chemistry.
What is Piperine?
Piperine is the pungent principal of pepper which means that it is the main reason of the spicy flavor of peppers together with its isomer, chavicine. It is an alkaloid which means that it is naturally occurring compound found in Pipernigrum that is now popular these days to intensify the bioavailability of nutrients of food supplements.
Benefits of Piperine:
- Can intensify the bioavailability of curcumin which was proven in an in-vivo pre-clinical study. After the trial, it was found out that piperine administration caused the high bioavailability of curcumin (specifically 2000 times bioavailable). Originally, curcumin has very low bioavailability which makes it difficult for humans to absorb all the benefits then due to this result, tests are being run to see if the effect with the animals would be the same with humans.
- Can be a mood enhancer. One study found that it has anti-depressant like effect due to the up-regulation (increase stimulus response) of the progenitor cell proliferation of hippocampus and cytoprotective activity.
- Can be an anti-oxidant. Another study states that piperine protects erythrocytes (also called red blood cell or a cell containing hemoglobin which causes the reddish color of our blood) from oxidative stress (imbalance between production of free radicals and body’s ability to detoxify their harmful effects) through making an improvement in the anti-oxidant status.
- Has anti-tumor properties
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Can be used as anti-microbial
- Can be a cure for vitiligo (losing of skin pigmentation) according to a study in 2008.
- Can be an aid for weight loss. Black pepper contains very low calorie for it can boost metabolism. According to some an in vivo study, it can increase energy production by influencing the production of hormone-like chemicals which regulates the body’s energy balance.
- Can suppress new fat cells and prevent them from growing.
- Can be used for gastrointestinal disorders, constipation and diarrhea.
Due to these good results of studies, this product is now under on-going tests and later on for human tests.