Why Are Turmeric And Black Pepper Extract Such A Powerful Combination?

By Jen Evansy / April 11, 2020
Peppercorn and turmeric root

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. 

Black pepper is the most widely used spice in the world, so the chances are that you have it somewhere in your kitchen.

However, black pepper is more than just a kitchen spice and can offer various unique benefits.

What makes black pepper so good for you is the bioactive ingredient called Piperine. Piperine is the compound that makes black pepper spicy. Not to be mistaken for capsaicin that is characteristic of chili peppers.

Black pepper has a long history of use in folk medicine. Now with the help of clinical research and modern science, more and more benefits of Piperine are being discovered.

So, What Is Piperine?

Piperine molecule

Piperine is an alkaloid, isolated from black pepper (Piper nigrum)

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 supplements 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 black pepper extract to increases the bioavailability of:

  • protein
  • creatine  
  • prohormones 
  • and the list goes on...

It is also taken effectively alongside some pre-workout supplements.

Apart from some anecdotal evidence that you can find in fitness and bodybuilding forums, there has been no confirmation to support the claims that piperine can actually boost the absorption of creatine and prohormones.

But that said, there is evidence that piperine can greatly enhance the bioavailability of nutrients like coenzyme Q10, selenium, beta-carotene, curcumin and many others. [1], [2], [3], [4]

Are you taking these following herbs, vitamins and nutrients:

  1. Curcumin
  2. Coenzyme Q10
  3. Boswellia serrata
  4. Ginkgo biloba
  5. Capsaicin
  6. Antioxidants: (e.g. beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin, germanium, zinc, and selenium).
  7. Minerals: (e.g vanadium, calcium, chromium, iron, zinc, chromium, iodine, potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper)
  8. Fat-soluble vitamins: (e.g. vitamin K, A, E, and vitamin D) 
  9. Water-soluble vitamins (e.g. vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, niacinamide, vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin C)
  10. Amino acids: (e.g. isoleucine, lysine, leucine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine)

To get the best result and the most benefits, it is best to combine them with Piperine.

Piperine vs. Bioperine - What Is The Difference?

Piperine is also referred to as Black Pepper Extract or BioPerine. All of these three are essentially the same substance, a concentrated extract made out of the fruits of Piper nigrum (black pepper). So BioPerine is just the brand name of a specific brand of black pepper extract that contains between 95-99% of pure Piperine. 

I should also note that BioPerine is the one and only black pepper extract to secure a patented status for its effectiveness to increase the bioavailability of different nutritional compounds.

BioPerine is also the only source of piperine that has undergone successful clinical research.

Many reputable brands are licensed to use the name 'BioPerine,' like this one that you can get from Amazon here.

More Benefits Of Piperine

Improved Metabolism

One of the suggested benefits of consuming Piperine is increased metabolism and improved thermogenesis. In simple terms, this process essentially increases your internal temperature and, in turn, it helps to breaks down your fat cells.

So, Piperine could be helpful for achieving your weight loss goals faster and easier, especially when Piperine consumption is combined with a good weight loss plan. [5]

Raised Dopamine And Serotonin Levels

It has also been shown that Piperine could help improve dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain. In simple terms, Piperine can help you have more positive feelings, managing stress levels, and give you an overall more positive experience. [6]

Improved Memory

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.

Regular Piperine consumption is known to have many more benefits like the improved immune system, improve mental skills, and so on.

However, still, the main advantage of Piperine is its ability to increase the bioavailability of different nutrients.

What Is Bioavailability?

digestive system

The bioavailability of curcumin is the proportion in which it enters the circulation when ingested so it can have a positive effect on the body.

Bioavailability is the amount of a particular nutrient that exists in food and can be absorbed by the body for metabolic purposes. [7]

If there is high bioavailability of 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.

In this article, I would like to concentrate specifically on the benefits and usages of turmeric and black pepper extract and how combining these two ingredients can enhance and skyrocket the bioavailability of curcumin.

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.

Curcuma longa of the ginger family

A miracle spice from the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, turmeric has many incredible benefits. This easily explains the popularity of this golden spice in India, as well as worldwide. 

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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. 

Turmeric is one of the most popular spices used in 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 color and has a unique earthy taste and fragrance.

It is the main ingredient in curry powder and is used to kick up the flavor of foods and drinks. It also boasts of great medicinal properties and has been used for centuries for its amazing benefits.

Let's check out the top 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. It 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. [8]

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. [9]

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 a 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. [10]

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 it may improve mood swings and memory in people who suffer from mild memory loss.

3. Potent Digestive Aid

Curcumin may improve digestion and reduces some symptoms of some digestive disorders. It is found to be helpful with conditions such as indigestion and ulcerative colitis. It 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. [11]

It may also prevent the risk of occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in otherwise healthy people. It is, however, important to note that turmeric should be avoided by those suffering from stomach ulcers as it can increase the production of acid in the stomach.

4. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death world over. Surprisingly, curcumin may protect against heart disease. [12]

Endothelial dysfunction is the key cause of heart disease. It 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.

5. Helps Arthritis

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. [13]

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 a randomized controlled trial that shows the efficacy of curcumin for the relief of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.

7. Regulation Of The Aging Process

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-aging properties go much beyond disease prevention. Its ability to combat inflammation and oxidation also makes it a potent anti-aging supplement. [14]

Adding Turmeric To Your Diet

With numerous proven 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 the same dish – the latter contains piperine, which helps the body absorb more curcumin.

Super Easy And Healthy Turmeric Latte Recipe - Hot or Cold (With Piperine)

Golden Turmeric Latte

Turmeric golden milk non-caffeinated latte.

Experience one of the most delicious ways to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric with this soothing, cozy, and warm golden milk latte. 

All you need to do is mix, or even better if you whisk, some of the Tur Latte Golden Drink Mix into the milk. Then heat it on the stovetop up to the point when it starts steaming. Then add a little touch of honey, and there you go. 🙂

This delicious latte drink is now done. 

This golden latte mix can also be made with cold milk, or you can add it to your protein shakes, smoothies, coffee, or even to your morning oatmeal.

How To Prepare Golden Turmeric Latte:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of TUR LATTE Golden Turmeric Latte Mix (it contains black pepper) to 8 oz milk. 
  2. Heat it for a few minutes till steaming and whisk the milk in a pot until it's aerated and frothy.
  3. Add a bit of honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
  4. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious latte.

A truly universal herm, this golden spice has many benefits and 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.

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How Much Turmeric To Take Daily?

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.

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 your digestive system. It is advisable to take turmeric supplements with included BioPerine to get maximum health benefits. Check out this trusted formula on Amazon here.

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 curcuminoids is relatively low due to poor absorption rates. It means that our bodies struggle to access all 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. [15]

curcuma longa and peppercorn

Research suggests that piperine can increase curcumin’s bioavailability by up to 2000%

So if you are using a plain culinary powder or fresh turmeric, then here is how to increase its bioavailability. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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 the 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!
  3. 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!
  4. Choose quercetin-rich foods. A flavonoid found in many plants, such as aged garlic, onions, capers, quercetin, berries, and even red wine, is 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 as I also mentioned above, 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 have 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 this golden spice.

How Much Black Pepper Or Piperine Should Be Taken With Turmeric?

It is recommended that 15-20 milligrams of Piperine a day, preferably divided into 3 separate doses, are sufficient to boost the bioavailability of 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, which is about 95 percent of piperine.

And even if you would be able to eat an enormous amount of black pepper, the direct intake of it will probably not help you to achieve that much needed enhanced nutrient absorption. That is for the reason that Piperine would not be released by the simple digestion processes alone and will remain captured inside the peppercorn.

18 Interesting Facts About Turmeric

Turmeric facts

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is part of the ginger family called Zingiberaceae and is native to Southeast Asia and Western India.

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 from Aston University. [16]

9. In India, it is widely considered “the golden spice of the nation,” largely due to its bright yellow-orange color

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 coloring agent.

12. The world’s largest turmeric trading center 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 this golden spice, 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 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 it is native to South and Southeast Asia. [17]

17. The turmeric plant grows up to 90 cm high, which 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. It 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.

Piperine Precautions And Side Effects

Piperine is generally known to be a non-toxic compound with very few side effects. Studies have shown that taking Piperine causes no side effects. One study with human volunteers reported that Piperine caused no harmful effects. However, some people have reported gut discomfort and nausea when using black pepper extract. [18]

Although Piperine may enhance the effect of some medicine, supplement-drug interactions could be a very dangerous thing. So, always consult your doctor before taking the Piperine supplement.

If you think that your body is lacking some vital nutrients, then here is a list of important nutrients and vitamins that you should consider taking alongside Piperine.

Related Posts
About the author

    Jen Evansy

    Nutritionists, researchers, and writers, interested in everything healthy-living related. Helping you identify the best diets, learn about food and nutrition, to help you live happier, longer and stronger.

  • Aveyx says:

    This is actually really amazing. Here is what I am doing, and I must say that I am just taking turmeric for my health boost so I am eating fresh turmeric root daily but for those who are tackling some health issues, you probably need a turmeric supplement for a more potent dose. Also, I would say, whether you take fresh turmeric root or you are taking supplements it is best to take it with some oily foods, like oily fish or full-fat milk and so on, it will help your body to absorb it so much better.

  • vijay mohan says:

    Hello there, I really didn’t know that Turmeric and Curcumin have that many benefits. I do it sometimes but I will be eating more of it now. What I don’t like about it tho is that my fingers are yellow after I peel the Turmeric and it’s not coming off. I might be switching to supplements instead, I don’t know, which one is more beneficial?

  • Monti says:

    I didn’t even realize that this simple ingredient Turmeric that most of us have in our kitchen has these numerous health benefits. I did notice that Drinking Turmeric Latte has become a fashion all of the sudden so I was wondering why was that happening and what’s up with the Turmeric, I thought maybe it is just for colouring as Turmeric does give a nice yellow colour but I suppose people now are getting wise to all the health benefits that it provides and that’s why they use it a lot everywhere.

  • Kevin P says:

    Turmeric is definitely more than just a spice that has this exotic aroma and yellow colour. I am surprised that a lot of people still don’t know that it has so many unique health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, and more. Curcuma can also be used to prevent conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, digestive disorders, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions and also liver, kidney, lung, cutaneous and many others. Share the post and let everyone know.

  • Jose86 says:

    I love turmeric, I do eat it a lot, I use raw turmeric and I also use powder. I am wondering if there is a turmeric juice, I would love to try that?

  • shivani says:

    I know that turmeric is great antioxidant and it is very useful in many other ways also so I did get some and I thought that I will eat it then, like one piece of turmeric every morning or something but it does not taste nice at all. I think I could eat even garlic before I could eat turmeric. How you guys do it that is beyond me. Maybe, if I make some sort of food with it but I don’t really know any recipes with the turmeric so if anyone has some healthy recipe for breakfast or something that I can use my turmeric for then please let me know.

  • Valery Karavasilev says:

    Wow, thank you for the great facts about curcumin and turmeric. I will definitely include them in my menu but can someone tell me what are the side effects of turmeric?

  • Vishal says:

    Turmeric is really an amazing thing, I used it as both spices and medication. I add it to most of my foods.

  • Zakaria Elayyar says:

    Hey Jen, I like all the benefits that Turmeric provides and now my question is: How to take turmeric? What is the best way, is it raw turmeric or should I take Turmeric powder or Turmeric tea, what is the best way to take it???

  • Barbara says:

    Wow, I didn’t know turmeric had such great health benefits! This is definitely going to become a new staple in my daily meals.

  • Linda P says:

    I am not a fan of Indian food which is unfortunate! I know about some of the health benefits of both spices but never knew how beneficial they could be. I do use turmeric on my skin and have used it in my mouth to heal sores. It works wonders topically and supposedly I can absorb some of the benefits that way too.

    • Jessica Shirley says:

      Whoa, I didn’t know you could use it on mouth sores? I will have to try that the next time they attack, and it’s getting cold, so I’m sure that’s on the horizon. I get these a lot so you may just be a huge life saver!

      If you don’t mind me asking, how do you use it on your skin for other than just sores?

  • Maria says:

    Man, I wish tumeric and I got along better. I’m not a huge fan of it in food, and golden milk doesn’t agree with me. I have been taking it in pill form with curcumin as an anti-inflammatory aid for my polycystic ovarian syndrome, and it really does make me feel better. Need to see about finding some more recipes to try with it, see if I can find something I like.

  • Karen54 says:

    I’m going to have to experiment with this more in food, and see about getting a supplement. Anti-inflammatories are my jam, and I can always use the anti-aging benefits, haha!

    As much as I love curry, I don’t think I could eat enough of it to get the benefits. Time to go supplement hunting!

  • Jessica Shirley says:

    Oh my gosh girl are you giving me free reign to eat all the Indian food I want? Haha if anybody could eat enough of it to get the benefits, it would be ME.

    Real talk, though, you’re telling me all kinds of great stuff today. I like to make Indian at home, so I know what goes in it, and I go through a lot of turmeric.

  • Dila J says:

    Thanks for an interesting list of facts. I love turmeric and I always use it in my cooking. Other than making a meal tasty it also has a lot of benefits. I actually used to grow it in my backyard.


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