What is Piperine?
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 affects a number of pathways and reactions that take place regularly inside your body. It helps in reducing weight through:
Piperine stimulates increased release of gastric juices from the stomach which aid in digestion.
Interfering with Genetics
Piperine is believed to interfere with the genes which are responsible for the formation of new fat cells. This means with the aid of piperine, fewer fat cells will be produced and accumulated in your body.
Boosting your Metabolism
Piperine boosts the metabolism of your body because it is believed to be thermogenic. It burns more calories and it is known to increase your metabolism by 8%.
Piperine also has a diuretic function. It increases perspiration and urination so as to rid your bopdy of harmful toxins.
Absorption of Nutrients
The levels of fat in the blood stream are also reduced by the effects of piperine. The low fat levels enable better and efficient absorption of minerals and other nutrients from your daily intake of food.
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!
In addition to the many benefits of piperine for weight loss, it is immensely healthy to include in your diet through the usage of ground black pepper. Not only will it spice up your food, but will also reward you with the following benefits:
- Growth retardation of different cancers such as: colon, skin and bowel cancer. It is also known to prevent the development of breast cancer.
- Can be used for clearing skin
- Can relieve arthritis pain
- Improve cognitive function
- Can be used for treatment of skin disease and wound healing
- May be used as a treatment for rheumatism
- Enhances immunity
- It increases the effect of many drugs and supplements by enhancing their absorption
- Can treat respiratory disorders like bronchitis and gastrointestinal conditions such as urinary stones, enteritis and gastritis
- Can be used as an analgestic and sedative
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 (source), 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.
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
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:
- 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.