Do you have Piperine or Bioperine in your kitchen? And no, it is not a new exotic spice or some fancy cleaning product. I am talking about a good old black pepper here.
I am sure pretty much everyone has black pepper in their kitchen.
But what about it, you might ask?
As you know, black pepper is great for cooking and can effectively be used in a wide variety of dishes but did you know that its effects go well beyond just spicing up your food?
It contains nutrient called Piperine. It is also referred to as Bioperine which is just a trademarked name for Piperin so the two terms are actually alike.
So What Is Bioperine?
It’s the active substance in black pepper that has been purified for 95% piperine content. This piperine extract is used to increase and enhance the absorption and bioavailability of various nutrients. It is becoming a very popular ingredient in the fitness industry and it is often added to various supplement or taken alongside them.
Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts are taking it to increase the absorption of virtually everything under the sun. People are taking it increases the bioavailability of protein, BCAAs, creatine, vitamin and minerals, l-glutamine, beta-aline prohormones, and the list goes on. It also often taken alongside pre-workout supplements.
Apart from some anecdotal evidence that you can find in fitness and bodybuilding forums, there has been no confirmation to support any of the claims that piperine can actually boost the absorption for all the stuff mentioned above.
But that said, there is some evidence that piperine can greatly enhance the bioavailability of nutrients like coenzyme Q10, selenium, beta-carotene, and curcumin.
What Is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability is the amount of a particular nutrient that exists in food and can be absorbed by the body for metabolic purposes.
If there is high bioavailability in a nutrient, then it is easy for the body to metabolize, digest, and absorb it. But if the bioavailability is poor, then your body might have more trouble metabolizing, digesting, and absorbing it. Sometimes the other minerals and vitamins in the food source could slow down these processes as well.
So in this article, I would like to concentrate specifically on the benefits and usages of turmeric (curcumin) and black pepper and how combining these two ingredients can skyrocket the biovailability of curcumin in turmeric.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Interesting Facts About This Golden Spice
In recent years, there’s been plenty of discussion regarding the benefits of turmeric, which is why more people are consuming it and asking me about it. That is why I am concentrating on it in this article.
However, turmeric is not something new in the world of health and wellness. In fact, it was used more than 5,000 years in Ayurvedic treatments and techniques.
A miracle spice from the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, #turmeric has many amazing benefits. This easily explains the popularity of this golden spice in India, as well as worldwide.
Turmeric is one of the most popular spices used in the Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa, a perennial plant of the ginger family, native to Southern Asia.
Curcumin is the most important key active ingredient in turmeric, it is bright orange-yellow in colour and has a unique earthy taste and fragrance.
It is the main ingredient in curry powder and is used to kick up the flavour of foods and drinks. It also boasts of great medicinal properties and has been used for centuries for its health benefits.
Let us check out the top evidence-based benefits of this golden spice.
1. Powerful Antioxidant
Turmeric is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories you will ever find. It is believed that chronic inflammation plays a key role in chronic illnesses such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome and several other degenerative diseases. By fighting chronic inflammation, it can help prevent and alleviate these conditions.
Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is so potent that its effectiveness is comparable to some of the anti-inflammatory drugs, minus the side effects. Curcumin works at the molecular level by blocking NF-kB, which is a molecule that travels to the nuclei of the cells and turns on inflammation-related genes.
Several studies have established its efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. One such study showed that pre-treatment with turmeric inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the rats. The study also found that it could reduce symptoms of pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have also shown that it improves kidney function and ease symptoms of uveitis.
2. Improves Brain Function
It has a positive effect on cognition. It is known to enhance our ability to process and learn in different environments. The brain-boosting effects of turmeric are attributed to its positive effect on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain.
Some of the common brain-related disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and depression are linked to decreased levels of this hormone. Curcumin is believed to increase the levels of BDNF. Therefore, it may prove effective in delaying or reversing brain disorders and age-related cognitive degeneration. It may also boost memory.
Curcumin is also known for its ability to boost levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. A recent study has shown that curcumin may improve mood swings and memory in people who suffer from mild memory loss.
3. Potent Digestive Aid
Curcumin improves digestion and reduces some symptoms of some digestive disorders. It is found to be helpful in treating conditions such as indigestion and ulcerative colitis. Curcumin stimulates the production of bile in the gallbladder, which helps with digestion. A study has shown that it can help prevent relapse of ulcerative colitis in those suffering from the condition.
It may also prevent the risk of occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in people who are otherwise healthy. It is, however, important to note that turmeric should be avoided by those suffering from stomach ulcers as it can increase production of acid in the stomach.
Cancer is among the deadliest of diseases, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. While the research to prove the effectiveness of turmeric as an anti-cancer agent is still in the early stages, but there is sufficient evidence to show that it works.
There are different types of cancers, and some of them do seem to be affected by turmeric. Some studies have shown that curcumin may affect cancer development, growth and spread. It acts at the molecular level.
It has also been shown to promote the death of cancer cells and reduce angiogenesis or the growth of blood vessels in tumours. Curcumin also prevents metastasis. However, most of these studies have been conducted on animals, and the effect of high dose curcumin on cancer is still to be studied. There is definitive evidence available that it may prevent the occurrence of certain types of cancer particularly cancers of the digestive system such as colorectal cancer.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death world over. Surprisingly, curcumin in turmeric may protect against heart disease.
Endothelial dysfunction is the key cause of heart disease and is characterized by the inability of the endothelium to regulate blood clotting, blood pressure and other factors. Studies have shown curcumin is as effective as exercise in improving endothelial function. Another study has shown that it is as effective as Atorvastatin, the popular drug used for the treatment of heart disease.
Curcumin also helps by reducing oxidation and inflammation, which are key factors in heart disease. It also has plaque-removal properties.
Curcumin has been shown to be effective in reducing LDL or bad cholesterol and preventing blood clots. However, it is important to note that turmeric may interact with blood clotting medications and should be taken under the guidance of a medical expert.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in reducing arthritis symptoms. In fact, research has shown that it may be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain related to osteoarthritis.
Another study conducted on people with rheumatoid arthritis has shown that curcumin may be even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug. Studies have also shown that including curcumin in the diet leads to a reduction in tenderness and disease activity in people with arthritis.
Watch this video below where Dr. Michael Greger covers the latest research in randomized controlled trial that shows the efficacy of curcumin for the relief of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Fights Ageing
Curcumin is a popular anti-aging supplement. Its ability to fight chronic, degenerative diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s makes it a potent supplement for longevity. However, its anti-ageing properties go much beyond disease prevention. Its ability to combat inflammation and oxidation also makes it a potent anti-ageing supplement.
Adding Turmeric To Your Diet
With numerous proven health benefits, it’s only natural to want to incorporate this golden spice into your diet. The easiest way to find it is heading right to the spice aisle at your local grocery store – 9/10 times it will be right there waiting. Your local veggie store may also have it in root form or as a powder, much like ginger. Either type can be easily added to a variety of dishes, from soups and curries to desserts and smoothies. Turmeric tea and lattes are also becoming increasingly popular. Let your imagination run wild and experiment – there is no right or wrong way to enjoy turmeric in your diet. For even more benefits, you can combine turmeric and black pepper in one dish – the latter contains piperine, which helps the body absorb more curcumin.
Super Easy And Healthy Turmeric Latte Recipe - Hot or Cold
Experience one of the most delicious ways to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric with this soothing, cosy and warm golden milk latte, all you need to do is whisk some of the Tur Latte Golden Turmeric Drink Mix into the milk of your choice, heat it on the stove top until steaming, add a touch of honey and there you go. This delicious latte drink is now done. (This golden latte mix can also be made with a cold milk or you can add it to your protein shakes, smoothies, coffee or even to your morning oatmeal)
How To Prepare:
- Add 1 tablespoon of TUR LATTE Golden Turmeric Latte Mix to 8 oz milk.
- Heat it for a few minutes till steaming and whisk milk in a pot until it's aerated and frothy.
- Add a bit of honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
- Enjoy your delicious and nutritious latte.
A truly universal herm, this golden spice has many benefits & can help with many digestive issues, including but not limited to cramps, IBS and constipation. If you haven’t yet discovered #turmeric as part of a #healthy regimen, then now is the time.
Recommended Turmeric Supplements
Turmeric, is a superfood and that is for a good reason, it is one of the oldest, healthiest and most complete herbs you can find. Its most bioactive compound curcumin provides many scientifically-proven health benefits.
However, it may not be possible to get enough curcumin just by including turmeric in your food as most of it is not absorbed by the system. It is advisable to take turmeric supplements to get the maximum health benefits.
How Much Turmeric To Take
When it comes to a curcumin dosage, best of all, just a little bit goes a long way in terms of health benefits. To keep background inflammation at bay, you need as little as 500 mg of curcuminoids daily – however, there is no harm in consuming up to four times that much if you’re experiencing more prominent issues such as chronic pain. In grocery store powder equivalent, it’s about 1-3 g turmeric per day.
How To Increase Turmeric Absorption
It’s all about physiology – absorption, to be exact! The active substance of turmeric that enables its amazing health properties is called curcumin. Hence, commercially available quality bio-curcumin supplements generally pack more punch, as they usually contain very high doses of the active component along with ingredients to help boost its absorption.
According to research, the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric is relatively low due to poor absorption rates, meaning our bodies struggle to access the goodness. Instead of the bloodstream, where we ideally want it to end up for maximum wellness benefits, curcumin mostly gets absorbed in the liver lining and in the stomach wall.
So if you are using a plain culinary powder or fresh turmeric then here is how to increase its bioavailability.
- Spice it up with some pepper. In the liver, some substances are modified into water-soluble counterparts to aid proper absorption. However, pepper contains a powerful compound called piperine, which inhibits this process for curcumin, hence making it more available for the bloodstream! Specifically, consuming turmeric with piperine can increase absorption up to 20-fold, according to some research.
- Good fats are your friends. As a fat-soluble compound, curcumin dissolves in fats. Therefore, without the fats binding it, curcumin is absorbed poorly and doesn’t make it to small intestine where it is supposed to be transferred into the bloodstream. The solution is simple: consume turmeric with good fats, such as avocado or coconut oil – or simply make a tasty curry dish!
- Turn up the heat. According to several studies, heat appears to boost curcumin solubility by 12 times, which may assist its absorption in the body – so heat it up!
- Choose quercetin-rich foods. A flavonoid found in many plants, such as aged garlic, onions, capers, quercetin, berries and even red wine are a powerful inhibitor of the enzyme that deactivates curcumin. Therefore, by consuming foods rich in this flavonoid you aid better curcumin bioavailability!
Watch this great video below from Dr Mandell, D.C where he explains in great detail how to take turmeric for the best absorption and including dosages.
Take Your Turmeric This Way to Get Full Absorption & Correct Results
As Dr Mandell mentioned in the video and it is also shown in many other studies, Piperine, a compound found in black pepper is one of the best ways to greatly improve the absorption of turmeric in your body. So, here is a tip that I discovered, if you are like me that likes to add turmeric to your smoothies, protein shakes and porridge, then adding loads of black pepper will totally ruin the taste so I just take one capsule of Piperin and it works great.
To sum it up, an ultimate curcumin-boosting dish would be a delicious curry made with coconut cream, a generous sprinkle of black pepper, turmeric and onions! Or get yourself some Bioperine capsules for ultimate convenience. Otherwise, make yourself a generous glass of golden latte, and reap the benefits of curcumin.
How Much Black Pepper Should Be Taken With Turmeric
It is recommended that 15-20 milligrams of Piperine sufficient to boost bioavailability or curcumin. Regular black pepper contains 5 percent of piperine. Then, to get just one gram of piperine one would have to consume around 5-6 teaspoons of black pepper. Therefore, it is recommended to take concentrated black pepper extract instead that is about 95 percent of piperine.
More Benefits Of Black Pepper Extract
By absorbing more nutrients, Piperine also boosts the metabolism too. During this process, fat cells are broken down, and your body temperature rises. This is the perfect formula for helping to increase weight loss. If you were to follow a regular weight loss plan and integrate Piperine into it, then you’ll lose even more weight.
Boost Serotonin and Dopamine Levels
Piperine is known to increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body. If you want to boost your mood and feel better, then you’ll want to produce more of these chemicals. They’re in charge of regulating mood.
Some chemicals like beta-endorphin and serotonin help improve memory in the brain. Piperine assists in stimulating the production of these chemicals which, in turn, boosts memory quality. As you get older, this will become very important.
Boost Immune System Strength
When the immune system malfunctions and there is an attack on the human body, it causes the immune system to overreact. To regulate the immune system, you should consider using Piperine. According to a 2010 study, Piperine may cause some immune system responses to weaken, resulting in reduced inflammation.
Enhanced Mental Skills
Piperine can not only boost memory, but it can stimulate your ability to reason and pay attention to things. More importantly, it can increase your motivation to do things and become more productive. In other words, if you’re feeling lethargic and don’t ever want to do anything, then you should consider taking some Piperine. It’ll help you relax more by managing your stress levels. This will increase your chances of wanting to be productive.
18 Interesting Facts About Turmeric
1. India is the world’s top turmeric supplier, with up to 90% of the spice coming exclusively from this country.
2. In the Middle Ages, turmeric was known as Indian Saffron – way cheaper, but just as great!
3. Naturally, India also happens to be the most significant turmeric exporter, accounting for 60% of total world export.
4. Regular application of turmeric paste can help tame excessive hair growth – this traditional method has been widely used in India for centuries.
5. Raw turmeric looks much like ginger, so it’s easy to get confused! When in doubt, all you need to do is open up a piece of the root in question. Whilst ginger is yellowish-brown inside, turmeric has a bright orange-yellow hue, and also a sweeter smell.
6. If your radiator is leaking, simply add a spoonful of turmeric powder to the radiator water. The leakage is going to stop right before your eyes!
7. Ancient Assyrians were long considered the first users of turmeric at 600 Before the Common Era – however, recent discoveries suggest that the Harappan (also known as Indus Valley) Civilization already cultivated the wonder spice around 4000 BCE.
8. If you ever get a snake bite, this golden spice can help! This natural treatment was discovered and thoroughly tested by Dr. Eric Lattman of Aston University.
9. In India, it is widely considered “the golden spice of the nation”, largely due to its bright yellow-orange colour
10. There is a city in Tamil Nadu, India, widely called as Erode. The biggest turmeric producer in the world, the city is also known under nicknames such as “Turmeric City” and “Yellow City”.
11. We’re all used to the appearance of store-bought mustard so much that we don’t question why it looks a certain way. Here’s a curious fact: prepared mustard actually gets its bright yellow hue from turmeric, a natural colouring agent.
12. The world’s largest turmeric trading centre is located at Maharashtra’s Sangli town. Any serious trader knows about this place, the first stop for anyone interested in buying and selling it.
13. While we’re at it, it’s important to note that the use of turmeric as a natural dye is significant for many industries, from food to textiles.
14. There are many variations of turmeric, including Sangli, Nizamabad Bulb, Erode and Salem and Rajapore Turmeric and also Alleppey Finger. And these are just the most popular ones in India – there are many more!
15. In India alone, roughly 150,000 hectares of farmland is used for cultivating turmeric. That is an area about twice the size of the NYC.
16. It’s hard to be certain about the origin of turmeric – however, the general consensus is that it came from Western India. A more cautious statement would be that turmeric is native to South and Southeast Asia.
17. Turmeric plant grows up to 90 cm high, that is about 35 inches. It has quite large leaves and it has a yellow-white flower which is sterile which means it doesn’t produce any seed.
18. Turmeric has many different names, here are some of them: Kunyit, Manjal, Terre Merite, Haldi, Haridra, Zirsood, Halada, Holdi, Indian Saffron, Pasapu, Curcuma, Arishina.
How Safe Is Turmeric
Turmeric is considered safe when ingested or used on the skin in appropriate amounts for up to 8 months. It is also considered safe when it is used as a mouthwash or an enema, however, this should only be done in the short-term. It does not typically cause notable side effects. In some people, it may trigger dizziness, upset stomach, diarrhea or nausea.
What Is Your Experience?
If you have any questions about turmeric, its benefits and uses, then let me know in the comments below. Also, I would like to hear about your experience with this golden spice and how it has benefited you and the ways and recipes you use to add more of it into your daily diet.