Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Benefits of Black Pepper Extract
Black pepper is a kitchen staple, commonly used to spice up savory dishes, but its benefits go beyond making favorite recipes tastier. Scientific studies have shown that black pepper extract offers potential health benefits when used as a dietary supplement. In this post, we'll look at what black pepper extract is and then explore how a supplement that contains it may benefit you.
What Is Black Pepper Fruit Extract?
Black pepper fruit extract or black pepper extract is a highly concentrated substance extracted from the fruit of a vine called Piper nigrum. For thousands of years, practitioners of Ayurvedic healing in India have used black pepper as a remedy for various illnesses and conditions.
Modern science has determined that black pepper extract may offer health benefits because of a compound it contains called piperine. Some supplements contain whole black pepper extract, while others feature isolated piperine. There are also proprietary forms of black pepper that are optimized to increase potency and bioavailability. An example is BioPerine, a key ingredient in Body Kitchen Mega NAC + Quercetin, our immune support supplement.
Black Pepper Extract Benefits
Clinical studies indicate that black pepper extract may have the following benefits.
Research shows that piperine may fight inflammation. One study involving rats linked black pepper extract to decreased joint pain and swelling. Another revealed that mice with asthma and allergies have been given piperine and experienced less inflammation in their airways. Scientists have yet to thoroughly study the anti-inflammatory effects of black pepper extract in humans. However, people still take supplements that contain them for respiratory problems, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
Black pepper extract is high in antioxidants, substances that destroy free radicals. These reactive particles found in pollutants and ultraviolet energy have the potential to damage cells. They have been shown to contribute to premature aging, inflammation, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. Because of its antioxidant potential, black pepper extract may help lessen free radical damage, promote overall health, and support the immune system. Some people also take black pepper extract due to a belief that its antioxidant content gives it potential cancer-fighting properties.
May Improve Brain Function
Several animal studies have shown that black pepper extract aids in brain function. Based on the results of these studies, doctors sometimes recommend piperine and black pepper for individuals suffering from a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. However, more scientific research is needed to determine the extent of the potential cognitive benefits of black pepper extract.
Blood Sugar Control Support
Type 2 diabetes occurs when body cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Eventually, the body cannot control blood sugar because cells no longer respond to the hormone. There is some evidence to suggest that black pepper extract may be beneficial for those who have or are at risk for developing diabetes due to its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. One study of 86 overweight people found that taking a supplement that contained piperine and other herbs for eight weeks increased insulin sensitivity and lowered blood sugar levels. Further study is needed to determine the extent to which black pepper extract contributed to those results.
Increased Bioavailability of Nutrients
Black pepper extract may increase nutrient absorption, helping your body utilize vitamins, minerals, and other compounds found in foods and supplements more effectively and efficiently. Some manufacturers add black pepper extract to vitamins and other supplements to increase bioavailability. The patented black pepper extract found in Body Kitchen Mega NAC + Quercetin has been shown to boost bioavailability by at least 30%.
May Lower Cholesterol
Elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins or LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In animal studies, black pepper extract has been shown to lower LDL levels. Other studies have found that black pepper extract also helps to increase the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering supplements like red yeast rice and curcumin.
May Aid in Weight Control
Some evidence suggests that black pepper extract may help with weight loss efforts. One small study showed that drinking a beverage made of black pepper reduced appetite and made people less likely to overeat or snack between meals.
Black pepper extract offers many potential health benefits. If you're interested in adding a supplement to your diet in hopes of reaping them, consult your medical provider first. Although black pepper extract is generally well-tolerated, it does have the potential to cause side effects, drug interactions, and allergic reactions in some people.