What is BioPerine? It’s a supplement that can help your body better absorb other nutrients like curcumin. What do you need to know about BioPerine before adding it to your supplement regimen? Let’s look at BioPerine, its benefits, and its side effects.
What is BioPerine?
BioPerine is the brand name of a product that is a black pepper extract which is 95% piperine. While BioPerine is commonly found in curcumin supplements, you can also get it separately.
BioPerine works well with things like curcumin and green tea catechins to increase your body’s ability to benefit from these supplements.
BioPerine has many proven benefits and some suspected benefits, including:
- Increased absorption of things like vitamin C, selenium, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, and coenzyme Q
- Reduced blood pressure
- May help people who suffer from malnutrition or malabsorption of nutrients
- May treat allergies
- Gastrointestinal stimulant
- Treating diarrhea
- Improved cholesterol
- Pain relief
- May improve cognitive dysfunction
- Decreases inflammatory response
- May help treat Parkinson’s disease
- May combat metabolic syndrome
- May prevent seizures
- May treat gout
- Protects against gastric ulceration
- May have anti-cancer or anti-tumor properties
- Antioxidant influence
- Might improve depression
- Prevent gallstones
- Delayed gastric emptying of solids from the stomach to the rest of the digestive tract
- May increase the production of gastric acid
Piperine works by limiting the effect of drug detoxifying enzymes. This can be a good thing when you want to get better effects from supplements, but it can be dangerous when taken with certain medications.
Curcumin is rapidly metabolized in the liver and intestinal wall, making it difficult for humans to get any benefit from it. Research has shown that piperine can increase the bioavailability (the body’s ability to get the effects) of curcumin by as much as 2000%.
Piperine effects that could be positive or negative
Some effects of piperine could be beneficial for some people but harmful to others. Some of these effects include:
- May decrease thyroid hormones. While this could be a benefit to somebody who has elevated thyroid hormone levels, it could be dangerous for people with normal levels.
- It can both suppress and boost the immune system. Research in this area is somewhat limited and contradictory. If you have problems with your immune system, you may want to wait for further research before starting piperine.
- It could help battle hunger. Since piperine slows down how quickly food passes through your gastrointestinal tract, it may help you feel full longer.
Black pepper extract
Black pepper (Piper Nigrum) is the most widely used spice in the world and has long been used as a traditional medicine in India and China for a wide variety of illnesses like constipation, diarrhea, chills, earache, gangrene, pain, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, rheumatism, insect bites, insomnia, influenza, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, fever, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches.
Black pepper extract contains at least six bioactive compounds including:
Ordinary black pepper only contains 0.4-7.0% piperine, so it’s necessary to take BioPerine as a supplement to get any benefit from black pepper.
The typical dosage of BioPerine to increase absorption of supplements is 20 mg. While there hasn’t been much human research yet on other uses for BioPerine, dosages on rats and mice were found to be effective in these ranges:
- For pain relief: 30-70 mg/kg body weight
- To improve brain function: 5-50 mg/kg body weight
- To lower blood pressure: 10 mg/kg body weight
- For antioxidant effects: 20 mg/kg body weight
BioPerine side effects
While BioPerine is generally considered to be safe, it can have some serious side effects such as:
- May enhance the absorption of medications
- May inhibit liver metabolism of drugs
- May increase bioavailability of toxins
- Could increase medication levels to dangerous levels
- Possible reproductive toxicity
BioPerine risks and interactions
Due to the risk of BioPerine increasing the effectiveness of any medication you take, you should talk to your doctor before adding BioPerine to your regimen if you take any sort of medication. It may be too dangerous to combine piperine with your current medications.
In particular, BioPerine is known to interact with the following drugs and supplements:
- Diclofenac (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
- Ibuprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
- Fexofenadine (an allergy drug)
- Carbamazepine (anti-epileptic)
- Chlorzoxazone (muscle relaxant)
- Ampicillin trihydrate (a type of penicillin, which is an antibiotic)
- Norfloxacin (antibiotic)
- Nevirapine (a drug used to treat HIV)
- Domperidone (anti-emetic drug)
- Docetaxel (anti-cancer drug)
- Glimepiride (anti-diabetic)
- Nateglinide (anti-diabetic)
- Metformin (anti-diabetic)
It’s also important to note that little research has been done on any food-drug interactions that may be affected by taking BioPerine.