Piperine – Weight Loss Benefits and Side Effects


What is Piperine?


It is a pungent chemical substance found in the Piperaceae family of plants.

Sources: Piper longum (long pepper) and Piper nigrum (black pepper)

Function: It has been used for treatment of various diseases in Ayurvedic medicine and latest research suggests its probable role in weight loss. Available in many fat burners (e.g. Instant Knockout, etc).

Similar fat-burning ingredients: Capsicum, cayenne pepper, etc.

Piperine is a chemical compound which is found in black pepper and long pepper – spices which are commonly used all over the world. It is responsible for the unique taste and pungent smell of these spices and is the culprit which makes you sneeze when you inhale its characteristic aroma. Piperine is present in small quantities of 5-9% in black and white pepper and 1-2% in long pepper. These peppers have long been used for medicinal purposes such as Ayurvedic medicines for the treatment of different discomforts and a wide variety of diseases.

Benefits of Piperine for Weight Loss

Recent research has shown promise for piperine being used as an aid in weight loss. Following are some benefits of piperine when losing weight:

  • It increases the rate if absorption of other nutrients from your food
  • It prevents the formation of new fat cells
  • It increases your metabolism
  • It inhibits the accumulation of fat
  • It helps reduce belly fat
  • It helps your body to burn more calories because the effects may last hours after eating

How Does It Work?

piperine on spoon

Piperine affects different processes that happen in your body regularly. Here’s how it helps with weight loss:


Piperine triggers the stomach to release more digestive juices, which helps in breaking down food.

Interfering with Genetics

Piperine might interfere with certain genes responsible for making new fat cells. This means it could help in reducing the number of fat cells your body produces and stores.

Boosting your Metabolism

Piperine is thought to be thermogenic, meaning it helps in burning more calories and speeding up metabolism. Some studies suggest it can increase metabolism by about 8%.

Body Detoxification

Piperine acts as a diuretic, which means it increases sweating and urination, helping your body get rid of toxins.

Absorption of Nutrients

Piperine may lower fat levels in the blood, making it easier for your body to absorb minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat.

Anti-depressant Effects

Piperine has anti-depressant like effects on the body which means that you are less likely to remain depressed and eat your comfort food, or worse – comfort food binging!

Other Benefits

Adding ground black pepper to your diet has many health benefits, besides helping you lose weight. It doesn’t just make your food tastier, but it also gives you these benefits:

  • Helps slow down the growth of different cancers like colon, skin, and bowel cancer, and can even stop breast cancer from developing.
piperine powder in bowl
  • Clears up your skin.
  • Eases arthritis pain.
  • Improves cognitive function.
  • Helps with skin issues and healing wounds.
  • Treats rheumatism.
  • Makes your immune system stronger.
  • Helps your body absorb certain medicines and supplements better.
  • Treats respiratory problems like bronchitis and stomach problems like urinary stones, enteritis, and gastritis.
  • Acts as a sedative and pain reliever.

Clinical Studies

Clinical Studies of piperine

Most studies for evaluating the efficiency of piperine as an aid for weight loss have been performed on animals. The research is still in its initial stages and concrete evidence has not been established yet about the same effects of piperine in humans as observed in animals regarding weight loss.

In a study, two groups of male rats were fed a high fat diet for eight weeks for obesity-induced dyslipidemia to develop. A combination of piperine and sibutramine was then administered to the test group and the high fat diet was continued. According to results, when the high fat diet was supplemented with piperine, a significant reduction in total cholesterol and body weight was observed. It also reduced the LDL and VLDL (the bad cholesterol) and increased HDL (the good cholesterol) without any change in food intake.

Another study (source) reports that piperine may help to block the formation of fat cells by interfering with the genes. The research showed that piperine inhibited the formation of adipocytes (fat cells) without affecting the cytotoxicity.

Side Effects

Due to lack of research conducted on piperine and no human trials, the side effects of piperine haven’t been completely established. As far as animal studies have been conducted, it is found that:

  • Black pepper may have some carcinogenic effects through topical application but such effects were absent when the extract was orally ingested
  • Unless the amount of piperine taken or administered is highly increased, there are no dangers as to the side effects of piperine

A word of caution

dry piperine

Even though no long term or short term side effects have been established for piperine, it is always a wise decision to consult with your doctor before you start on a piperine supplement for any reason. However, you should take utmost care if you are:

  • pregnant
  • breast-feeding mother


Because piperine has been used as an ancient medicine for the treatment of many diseases, it is safe to use it in amounts as suggested by your doctor or the manufacturer. Just make sure you don’t go beyond the daily dose recommended by these professionals.

Because of the many benefits of piperine for maintaining a healthy body and treating diseases, it is a good decision if you decide to incorporate it in your daily diet. Supplementing your exercise and diet with piperine may prove to be a worthy investment because you might just shed those pounds faster than you would without piperine.