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Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum) is a common spice and herb used historically for various diseases related to gastrointesinal disorder and dental or oral dysfunction. It is most commonly known in the supplemental realm for its piperine content, but also contains pellitorine, guineensine, pipnoohine, trichostachine, and piperonal.
Piperine is extracted from black pepper using dichloromethane. Aqueous hydrotropes can be used in the extraction to result in high yield and selectivity. The amount of piperine varies from 1-2% in long pepper, to 5-10% in commercial white and black peppers. Further, it may be prepared by treating the solvent-free residue from an alcoholic extract of black pepper, with a solution of potassium hydroxide to remove resin (said to contain chavicine, an isomer of piperine) and solution of the washed, insoluble residue in warm alcohol, from which the alkaloid crystallises on cooling.
Piperine, along with its isomer chavicine, is the alkaloid responsible for the pungency of black pepper and long pepper. It has also been used in some forms of traditional medicine and as an insecticide.
Piperine is known for changing metabolism of various drugs and supplements, most notably increasing curcumin bioavailability by 2000%. It affects metabolism by both intestinal absorption as well as downregulating or inhibiting phase II detoxification enzymes and the glucuronidation process in the liver. It may also contribute to increase absorption by slowing intestinal transit rate and thus prolonging the time said compounds are exposed to the potential uptake.
Piperine is able to slow both gastric emptying and intestinal transit at doses of 1mg/kg-1.3mg/kg bodyweight. In higher doses, it can induce gastric acid secretion possibly via agonism of gastric histamine H2 receptors.
There exist preliminary evidence that black pepper as a food substance poses carcinogenic effects via some procarcingenic constituents such as safrole and tannins, and some terpene compounds. These procarcinogenic effects were noted with topical application.: Evidence of carcinogenicity]. These effects, however, were not noted with oral ingestion despite rodent hypersensitivity to piperine. It is generally recognized as safe for human consumption.
You may want to take piperine if you need to increase the effect of other nutrients, such as curcumin, vitamin B6, beta-carotene and selenium. You may also benefit from piperine if you need help in maintaining a healthy weight or are experiencing short-term stress. Additional reasons to take piperine include breathing difficulties, problems with digestion, joint discomfort and low moods.
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