black-pepper-fruits

Bioperine: Standardized Piperine For Increasing Nutrient Bioavailability

Bioperine is a patented form of Piperine, which is found in the fruits of black pepper. This compound is extracted directly from black pepper and made commercially available by the Sabinsa Corporation. Piperine has been shown to help enhance the process of thermogenesis in the human body. This process works at a cellular level to help us better absorb nutrition from our foods. Piperine is commonly included in supplements, often in the patented Bioperine form,  to help increase the overall bioavailability of active ingredients.

Potent Black Pepper Compound

Black pepper (Piper Nigrum) has been used throughout recorded history as a spice as well as natural treatment for several health conditions. In India for example, black pepper is used to treat conditions ranging from joint pain and insect bites all the way to gastrointestinal disorders and heart disease. Through analysis, modern science believes many of these benefits can be attributed to the many beneficial alkaloids found in the black pepper fruit. Piperine is one of the most-researched of these compounds, though others such as Pellitorine, Guineensine, and Piperonal are all attributed with active benefits as well. The exact method of action isn’t completely understood for all of these compounds, though the inhibition of certain compounds like the P-glycoprotein molecule is thought to be the root of piperine’s novelty.

Synergistic Action

P-glycoprotein is a protein the body uses to break down exogenous compounds found in the body. This protein inhibits the action of many medications, and also regulates the degree to which certain nutrients are absorbed by the body. This protein actively controls the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, which directly impacts the overall effects seen by many compounds such as curcumin—the active compound found in Turmeric. Piperine inhibits the action of this protein which allows it to provide a synergistic action for many compounds. When taken with other beneficial compounds such as Curcumin, piperine can help those compounds to be better absorbed. There are several other natural compounds that exhibit such P-glycoprotein reduction, though piperine is one of the most well-documented. Piperine has been found to enhance the beneficial effects of CoQ10, Turmeric, and Resveratrol, and is a common regarded as a recommended ingredient in those supplement types. [1] [2] [3]

Standardized Potency

Intellectual Property Rights (IP) play a huge role in the research of natural compounds. Pharmaceuticals have historically attracted the most commercial funding for research because the owners of the patents receive compensation for any use. This allows for corporations to ensure that their investment in research will benefit them directly and not their competition. Natural compounds found in supplements, such as piperine, are a different story. Natural compounds can’t be patented by themselves, and any research conducted into their health benefits must be done in an ‘open source’ manner. This means that there is much less commercial incentive to fund such research.

Manufacturers can however patent the process by which a natural compound is harvested and made ready for sale. By patenting the process of piperine extraction, companies like Sabinsa are able to financially justify investment into research . Bioperine is a patented piperine extract produced by the Sabinsa Corporation. Piperine extractions may vary depending on many factors such as the region of origin, growing conditions, and method used. By using a standardized process, compounds like BioPerine can be more effectively researched. This allows for supplements to provide a more predictable effect, and agencies such as the FDA to provide greater regulatory acceptance—such as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status.

Piperine Impacts Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis is the action in which our body produces heat from energy expenditure. This may be exercise, shivering in cold weather, or digestive processes. When discussed in relation to foods and digestive processes, thermogenesis is often called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), though sometimes also referred to as Dietary Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) or also Specific Dynamic Action (SDA)[4].  Thermogenesis is directly related to the amount and type of foods you consume. Foods that require higher energy expenditures to digest produce the highest level of thermic expenditure. Fats are very easily digested, and therefore produce very little thermogenic signatures. Other foods like meats and proteins require much more effort to digest, and therefore create a much more pronounced thermogenic effect. Specific nutrients able to increase thermogenesis are sometimes called Thermonutrients—which is phrase trademarked by the Sabinsa Corporation.

Health Benefits Of Piperine

Black pepper has been used for many centuries as a health remedy for the treatments of many health conditions. Much of the historical use of piperine-containing compounds come from regions with rich cultures of Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, many remedies are co-administered with a compound named Trikatu, which is a blend of Ginger, Long Pepper, and Black Pepper fruits. This blend is thought to be useful in the stimulation of digestive energy as well as a synergetic force for other compounds.  It’s astonishing to recognize how in tuned these practitioners of Ayurveda seemed to be, given our modern understanding of piperine and its specific action in the human body.

Piperine compounds have been found helpful in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and cancer taken in conjunction with other compounds such as curcumin

Modern research has also shed light on several other potential diseases in which piperine may be able to help treat, including certain types of cancer. Even though Bioperine and piperine compounds are well-researched for natural compounds, more data is needed to further investigate these types of claims. Piperine compounds have been found helpful in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and cancer taken in conjunction with other compounds such as curcumin. This article omits much of that type of data and focuses more on the research which investigates piperine and similar pepper compounds in isolation.

Boosts Metabolism & Promotes Weight Loss

Compounds that increase thermic signatures can be regarded as increasing metabolism. Foods containing spicy compounds such as capsaicin cause elevated thermogenic signatures indicating an increase in overall metabolism. This suggests that compounds such as piperine can help boost metabolism. This notion has been confirmed in animal studies, with significant reductions in bodyweight being reported [5]. Other animal studies have also found that supplementing piperine to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels while simultaneously increasing good cholesterol [6]. This suggests that piperine-containing compounds such as Bioperine may be an effective weight loss supplement. It’s noteworthy that regular black pepper has been shown to exhibit these same types of increase in thermogenic activity. The addition of black pepper to foods may alone be enough to help promote greater metabolism and aid in weight loss.

Fights Cancer

When it comes to treating cancer, doctors measure success in terms of two variables; the ability to slow the rate of tumor growth, and the ability to kill existing cancerous cells. Animal studies have demonstrated that certain types of prostate cancer have both of these factors positively influenced by piperine [7]. There have been mixed results among animal tests in the past, varying among in-vitro and in-vivo studies alike. In other animal studies, research has shown that piperine has shown the ability to help the proliferation rate of lung cancers such as melanoma [8]. While early data suggest little more than promise in the treatment of cancers with piperine, its ability to potentiate the efficacy of other natural compounds makes it highly interesting. In many cases, it seems likely that anti-cancer effects of other natural compounds would likely be magnified by the combined use with piperine compounds.

Final Considerations

Piperine has been found to exhibit powerful synergistic action, making many beneficial compounds like turmeric more bioavailable. It has been used throughout human history as an Ayurvedic treatment for a wide range of health conditions. Today, modern research has a deeper understanding of the many pathways by which piperine compounds affect the human body, and its ability to utilize other compounds. Piperine compounds are commercially produced in a patented standardized form named Bioperine, which is manufactured and distributed by the Sabinsa Corporation. This specific form of piperine has been investigated quite extensively when used as a supportive nutrient for other compounds such as CoQ10, Curcumin, and Resveratrol. It is commonly found in these types of supplements and is generally regarded as far superior to isolated alternatives.

References:

  1. Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. (1998). Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers. Planta Medica, 64(04), 353-356. doi:10.1055/s-2006-957450
  2. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M., & Prakash, L. (2000). Piperine derived from black pepper increases the plasma levels of coenzyme q10 following oral supplementation. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 11(2), 109-113. doi:10.1016/s0955-2863(99)00074-1
  3. Johnson, J. J., Nihal, M., Siddiqui, I. A., Scarlett, C. O., Bailey, H. H., Mukhtar, H., & Ahmad, N. (2011). Enhancing the bioavailability of resveratrol by combining it with piperine. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 55(8), 1169-1176. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201100117
  4. Secor, S. M. (2008). Specific dynamic action: A review of the postprandial metabolic response. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 179(1), 1-56. doi:10.1007/s00360-008-0283-7
  5. Okumura, Y., Narukawa, M., & Watanabe, T. (2010). Adiposity Suppression Effect in Mice Due to Black Pepper and Its Main Pungent Component, Piperine. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 74(8), 1545-1549. doi:10.1271/bbb.100117
  6. Shah, S., Shah, G., Singh, S., Gohil, P., Chauhan, K., Shah, K., & Chorawala, M. (2011). Effect of piperine in the regulation of obesity-induced dyslipidemia in high-fat diet rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 43(3), 296. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.81516
  7. Samykutty, A., Shetty, A. V., Dakshinamoorthy, G., Bartik, M. M., Johnson, G. L., Webb, B., . . . Munirathinam, G. (2013). Piperine, a Bioactive Component of Pepper Spice Exerts Therapeutic Effects on Androgen Dependent and Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer Cells. PLoS ONE,8(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065889
  8. Pradeep, C. & Kuttan, G. (2002). Effect of piperine on the inhibition of lung metastasis induced B16F-10 melanoma cells in mice. Clin Exp Metastasis 19: 703. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021398601388