Long hailed as the “king of spices,” black pepper is a staple seasoning in many households around the globe.
Its distinct flavor is due to the presence of piperine, a compound that has been linked to a long list of health benefits.
Because most of us only enjoy a dash or two of black pepper with each meal, some people opt to take a piperine supplement to boost their intake.
BioPerine is a patented piperine extract, containing at least 95% piperine in a form that is well absorbed by your body. It’s found in many supplements, either alone or alongside other ingredients like turmeric.
This article looks at some of the top benefits of BioPerine and piperine supplements.
Piperine has been shown to increase the absorption of several nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
For example, studies show that piperine can increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%. Curcumin is an active plant compound found in turmeric. It’s believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties (
What’s more, studies show that piperine can boost the absorption of beta carotene, another beneficial plant compound. It’s known to enhance immune function and act as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage in your body (2, 3).
BioPerine can increase the absorption of several beneficial plant compounds, including curcumin, beta carotene, and selenium.
Some animal studies suggest that BioPerine could offer several brain-boosting benefits.
For example, one study showed that piperine decreased inflammation and protected the health of brain cells in mice with chemically induced Parkinson’s disease (
Based on the results of another mouse study, piperine extract may also prevent mental impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease (
Lastly, a rat study found that piperine improved memory and protected against damage to the myelin sheath — an insulating layer around nerve fibers in your brain and spinal cord. As such, piperine could have potential as a future therapy for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) (
Keep in mind, though, that these studies were conducted in animals. As such, human research is needed to confirm whether piperine would exert similar effects in people.
Several animal studies have found that piperine could help protect brain and nerve cells to improve memory and prevent mental impairment. Still, human research is needed.
Inflammation is a normal immune response. It helps protect your body against illness and infection.
Promisingly, studies show that piperine could possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties to help keep chronic inflammation at bay (
For instance, one test-tube study showed that piperine extract helped protect skin cells against ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin damage and inflammation (
In another test-tube study, piperine blocked the production of several markers of inflammation in brain and spinal cord cells (
However, further research is needed to determine how piperine supplements, including BioPerine, affect inflammation in humans.
Test-tube and animal studies show that piperine could help decrease markers of inflammation, but human research is still needed.
Due to its antioxidant effects, some research suggests that BioPerine could help block the growth, division, and spread of cancer cells (
Still, keep in mind that most research on the topic was conducted in test tubes using highly concentrated and large amounts of piperine. Ultimately, more studies are needed to better understand how BioPerine could affect cancer development in humans.
Test-tube studies show that piperine could decrease the growth and spread of breast, prostate, and colon cancer cells. Still, more studies are warranted to learn how the compound might affect cancer development in humans.
Some studies have suggested that BioPerine could support improved blood sugar management through various mechanisms.
For example, one test-tube study found that piperine increased the absorption of sugar from the blood into cells, which could help prevent high blood sugar levels (
Some research in animals suggests that it may also help prevent insulin resistance. This condition impairs your body’s ability to use insulin to transport sugar from your bloodstream to your cells (
What’s more, another study in mice with diabetes showed that piperine increased the effectiveness of metformin — a medication used to manage blood sugar levels (
Still, additional studies are needed to determine whether BioPerine may offer similar benefits in humans.
According to some test-tube and animal studies, piperine could help stabilize blood sugar levels by increasing the absorption of sugar into your body’s cells, preventing insulin resistance, and enhancing the effectiveness of diabetes medications.
Although there are no official guidelines regarding how much piperine you should take, studies show that doses of 5–20 mg per day are generally considered safe and associated with minimal side effects (
The manufacturers of BioPerine recommend taking 5 mg, 3 times daily, for the best results.
Because piperine can lower blood sugar levels, you should talk with your doctor before using BioPerine if you have diabetes.
Piperine may also affect the absorption of certain medications, including blood thinners and medications used to treat insomnia, pain, and anxiety. Therefore, if you’re taking any medications, it’s important to talk with your doctor before taking BioPerine (2,
Doses of piperine ranging from 5–20 mg per day are generally considered safe. However, you should talk with your doctor before taking this supplement if you have diabetes or are taking any medications.
Piperine is a beneficial plant compound found in black pepper. BioPerine is a patented extract of piperine that is easy for your body to absorb and found in many supplements.
Studies show that piperine might help enhance nutrient absorption, stabilize blood sugar levels, combat cancer cell growth, decrease inflammation, and boost brain function.
However, because most studies on the compound have been conducted in animals and test tubes, more research is still needed to determine whether it confers these benefits in humans.
Additionally, piperine may lower blood sugar levels and could interfere with certain medications, so be sure to talk with your doctor before using it.
Just one thing
Try this today: There are plenty of ways to boost your intake of piperine, even without taking a supplement. Try adding black pepper to salad dressings, stir-fries, or savory meat, fish, or veggie dishes to enjoy the health-promoting properties of this tasty plant compound.