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29.04.2014


Piperine makes curcumin more effective

If the studies are to be believed, curcumin [structural formula on right] is an anti-oestrogen, testosterone booster, bone builder, cancer inhibitor, muscle strengthener, slimming aid and maybe even an antidepressant. Curcumin, it would seem, is a versatile supplement. But whatever use is intended, curcumin works better when combined with piperine [structural formula shown here], a compound found in black pepper.

The study that drew this conclusion was performed by pharmacologists from St John's Medical College in Bangalore, India in 1998. It was published in Planta Medica.

Curcumin
Piperine
In the late 1990s it became clear that although curcumin is an interesting substance, the human body finds it difficult to absorb. One of the reasons for this is that enzymes neutralize the compounds quickly, first in the small intestine and later in the liver. The enzymes attach glucose units to curcumin: a process called glucuronidation.

Piperine, a compound found in the pepper species Piper nigrum and Piper longum, inhibits glucuronidation. So is it possible to increase curcumin uptake by ingesting piperine at the same time as curcumin?

The researchers tested this idea on 10 males in their twenties. The subjects were given 2 g curcumin on one occasion and 2 g curcumin plus 20 mg piperine on another.

Ordinary black pepper for cooking purposes consists of about 5 percent piperine. That means you need 400 mg black pepper to ingest 20 mg piperine. That's about a quarter of a teaspoon.

The combined intake resulted in a considerable increase in curcumin levels, as the figure below shows. Maximal concentration after intake of 2 g curcumin was 0.006 microgram per ml. After an intake of 2 g curcumin plus 20 mg piperine this was 0.18 microgram per ml a factor thirty higher.


If the studies are to be believed, curcumin [structural formula on right] is an anti-oestrogen, testosterone booster, bone builder, cancer inhibitor, muscle strengthener, slimming aid  and maybe even an antidepressant. Curcumin, it would seem, is a versatile supplement. But whatever use is intended, curcumin works better when combined with piperine [structural formula shown here], a compound found in black pepper.


If the studies are to be believed, curcumin [structural formula on right] is an anti-oestrogen, testosterone booster, bone builder, cancer inhibitor, muscle strengthener, slimming aid  and maybe even an antidepressant. Curcumin, it would seem, is a versatile supplement. But whatever use is intended, curcumin works better when combined with piperine [structural formula shown here], a compound found in black pepper.


A measurement of total bioavailability is the Area Under the Curve [AUC]. Adding 20 mg piperine caused this to increase twentyfold.

The researchers observed no negative effects.

Source:
Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6.

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