Black pepper has been shown to substantially increase the Bioavailability of nutrients from food and supplements, providing more nutrients for each dollar spent. All this makes sprinkling black pepper on food one of the easiest and most economical interventions people can make to boost their overall health status.
- Researchers have recently found that black pepper can reduce the perception of pain, reduce inflammation, and combat arthritis. These discoveries follow other studies showing black pepper can block complications from diabetes, act as a powerful antioxidant and fight off colon cancer.
- Antioxidant: Antioxidants protect against hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants found in plants.
- Digestion and Intestinal Health: Pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, thereby facilitating digestion. Proper digestion is essential to avoid diarrhea, constipation and colic. Pepper also helps to prevent the formation of intestinal gas. When added to a person’s diet, it can promote sweating and urination, which remove toxins from the body. Sweating removes toxins and cleans out the pores of any foreign bodies that may have lodged there, and it can also remove excess water or accumulation, also known as edema. In terms of urination, you can remove uric acid, urea, excess water, and fat, since 4% of urine is made of fat. For digestion, inducing digestion can help you lose weight and increase the overall functioning of your body and prevent various gastrointestinal conditions and colorectal cancer. Its ability to expel gas is because black pepper is a carminative, which forces gas out of the body in a healthy, downward motion, rather than pressing upwards in a dangerous way and straining the upper chest cavity and vital organs. It also inhibits more gas from forming in the body.
- Weight Loss: Black pepper can act as a diuretic, reducing bloating in the intestinal tract where it promotes digestive health through its antioxidant effects. The outer layer of the peppercorn can even stimulate the breakdown of fat cells, releasing energy and keeping you slim.
- Skin Health: Pepper helps to cure Vitiligo, which is a skin disease that causes some areas of skin to lose its normal pigmentation and turn white. According to researchers in London, the piperine content of pepper can stimulate the skin to produce pigment. Topical treatment of piperine combined with ultra violet light therapy is much better than the other harsher, more chemically-based treatments for vitiligo. It also reduces the chances of skin cancer due to excessive ultraviolet radiation.
- Respiratory Relief: In Ayurvedic practices, pepper is added to tonics for colds and coughs. Pepper also provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion. It has an expectorant property that helps to break up the mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract, and its natural irritant quality helps you to expel these loosened material through the act of sneezing or coughing, which eliminates the material from the body and helps you to heal from whatever infection or illness caused the deposition in the first place.
- Antibacterial: The antibacterial property of black pepper helps to fight against infections and insect bites. Pepper added to the diet helps to keep your arteries clean by acting in a similar way to fiber and scraping excess cholesterol from the walls, thereby helping to reduce atherosclerosis, the condition highly responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
- Peptic Ulcers: A number of studies have shown that black pepper may have beneficial effects on gastric mucosal damage and peptic ulcers, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. More research is still being done on this aspect of black pepper health effects.
- Cognitive Impairment and Neurological Health– Piperine, one of the key components of black pepper, has been shown in numerous studies to reduce memory impairment and cognitive malfunction. Chemical pathways in the brain appear to be stimulated by this organic compound, so early research demonstrates the possibility for pepper to benefit Alzheimer’s patients and those that are suffering from dementia and other age-related or free radical-related malfunctions in cognition.
- Arthritis:Piperine, the active phenolic compound in black pepper extract, was studied to determine its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects as well as its ability to reduce the perception of pain. Piperine inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory interleukin 6, and MMP13, a gene involved in the promotion of arthritis and metastasis. It reduced the production of a pro-inflammatory prostaglandin, even at a very low dose. When given to arthritic rats, piperine significantly reduced perception of pain and arthritis symptoms. Histological examination showed that piperine significantly reduced the inflammation in their joints. (Arthritis Research and Therapy, March 30)
- Pepper may cause sneezing. Patients who have undergone abdominal surgery should not add excessive pepper to their diet because it can have an irritating effect on the intestines.
- Black pepper should not be taken in high concentrations, and if you show signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue its use and consult a doctor!
- Lithium interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black pepper and white pepper might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking black pepper and white pepper might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Black and white pepper might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking pepper along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the chance of side effects from some medications. Before taking black or white pepper, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
- Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Black and white pepper might make these pumps less active and increase how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This might cause more side effects from some medications. Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, digoxin, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.
- Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black and white pepper might increase how much phenytoin (Dilantin) the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with phenytoin (Dilantin) might increase the effects and side effects of phenytoin (Dilantin).
- Propranolol (Inderal) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black and white pepper might increase how much propranolol (Inderal) the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with propranolol (Inderal) might increase the effects and side effects of propranolol (Inderal).
- Rifampin interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black and white pepper might increase how much rifampin the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with rifampin might increase the effects and side effects of rifampin.
- Theophylline interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black pepper and white pepper can increase how much theophylline the body can absorb. This might cause increased effects and side effects of theophylline.
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER: Black and white pepper might increase the amount of carbamazepine (Tegretol) absorbed by the body. It might also decrease how quickly the body breaks down and gets rid of carbamazepine. This could increase how much carbamazepine is in the body and potentially increase the chance of side effects. However, there is not enough known about this potential interaction to know if it is a big concern.
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- Source: Organic facts, web article; www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-black-pepper.html
- Source: WEBMD, “Black Pepper”; www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/