Posted on Apr 23, 2020, 4 p.m.
Black pepper is arguably the most commonly used spice around the globe, it is made by grinding peppercorns but it is more than just a kitchen staple, this king of spices has been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years due to its high concentration of potent and beneficial plant compounds, most are even backed by modern science.
Black pepper is rich in the plant compound piperine which has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties, and studies suggest that antioxidants may help to delay or delay the damaging effects of free radicals that may lead to a variety of health problems.
Free radical molecules can damage your cells, some of these are formed naturally but excessive free radicals can be formed due to exposure to things like sun rays, cigarette smoke, and pollution. Free radical damage is linked to inflammation, heart disease, certain cancers, and premature aging.
Inflammation can be good, but too much is bad because chronic inflammation can be an underlying factor to many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Animal studies suggest that piperine/black pepper’s anti-inflammatory effects may effectively fight inflammation.
Animal studies have shown piperine to help improve brain function, in particular it demonstrated benefits for symptoms related to degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Human and animal studies indicate that piperine may also help to improve blood sugar metabolism. It has also been studied for the potential to reduce cholesterol levels, where it was believed to boost the absorption of supplements with the potential to lower cholesterol. However, more studies are required to determine if piperine alone has significant effects on blood sugar metabolism and cholesterol levels.
Piperine is hypothesized to have cancer fighting properties, although there have been no human trials, test tube studies have shown it to slow the replication of prostate, colon, and breast cancer cells, as well as inducing cancer cell death. Piperine is also showing promise in studies for reversing multidrug resistance in cancer cells.
Piperine may help to increase the absorption of nutrients like selenium, calcium, and other compounds including those found in green tea and turmeric.
Preliminary studies suggest that piperine may help to increase the good bacteria in the gut, and gut bacteria has been linked to immune function, moods, chronic disease, and much more.
Black pepper/piperine has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may promote a wide range of health benefits. However, despite the promising findings more human studies are required to gain a better understanding of the exact health benefits. Regardless of the lack of human studies it is still a versatile spice that enhances flavors with enough potential to improve health that makes it worth adding to almost any dish in your daily routine.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.