Did You Know…that black pepper can significantly reduce arthritis pain, improve digestion, and protect against colon cancer?
You may not think of salt’s humble companion—black pepper—as a health remedy, but it may be time to think again! Black pepper has been prized since ancient times for its health effects—so much so that taxes and ransoms could even be paid in black pepper!
And now, science confirms that a shake of black pepper is one of the simplest and least expensive ways you can boost your overall health. Recent research shows that black pepper blunts the perception of pain, reduces inflammation, and even fights arthritis. These discoveries add to previous studies showing that black pepper can block complications from diabetes and—because it is a powerful antioxidant—also protect against colon cancer.
Finally, black pepper can also substantially increase the bioavailability of nutrients from food and supplements. Not only does this give you more health benefits, but it also stretches your supplement dollar.
Piperine: Pepper’s Secret Health Weapon
Black pepper contains an active phenolic compound called piperine—and this compound seems to be the secret to black pepper’s powerful health benefits. Researchers have studied the piperine contained in black pepper extract to determine its benefits against…
What researchers found is that piperine blocked the expression of two problematic substances:
- Interleukin 6, a pro-inflammatory substance
- MMP13, a gene involved in the promotion of arthritis and metastasis (the process through which cancer spreads)
And even at a very low dose, piperine reduced the production of another pro-inflammatory substance, prostaglandin. When given to arthritic rats, piperine significantly reduced perception of pain and arthritis symptoms and significantly reduced the inflammation in their joints.
Most everyone has heard about the benefits of antioxidants—they protect against hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants found in plants. And of all the plant polyphenols, those in black pepper had the highest antioxidant activity according to an extensive study conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition in India.
A Weapon Against Colon Cancer
In 2008, researchers at St. Louis University in Missouri examined the effects of several plant substances on colon cancer. Black pepper showed significant effects against the spread of cancer cells at 24, 48, and 72 hours following administration.
Black pepper also improves overall digestion and intestinal health. It does this through stimulating the taste buds and alerting the stomach to increase the production of hydrochloric acid—a substance necessary for digesting proteins and other food substances. Most digestive problems are related to a deficiency in hydrochloric acid, so boosting its production can lead to major improvements in digestive health and comfort. Finally, black pepper can reduce bloating in the intestinal tract, and the outer layer of the peppercorn can even stimulate the breakdown of fat cells.
Choose Freshly Ground Organic Whole Peppercorns
In addition to giving black pepper its health benefits, piperine also gives black pepper its spicy taste. This means that the more flavorful the pepper, the more piperine it likely contains. Pre-ground pepper loses much of its piperine, whereas grinding peppercorns in a mill just before eating gives you the highest dose of piperine. In addition, experts advise against adding black pepper while the food is cooking, because it loses its flavor, aroma, and even its vitamin C content.
Finally, you can also find piperine as an inexpensive supplement in most health stores and online.