What is BioPerine Taken For, and Is it the Same Thing as Black Pepper?

  • Medical Reviewer: Mahammad Juber, MD
Medically Reviewed on 11/18/2022

What is BioPerine?

BioPerine is a regulated black pepper extract containing 95% piperine. BioPerine enhances the absorption of several nutrients and other supplements.
BioPerine is a regulated black pepper extract containing 95% piperine. BioPerine enhances the absorption of several nutrients and other supplements.

Pepper is a widely available spice used in several medicinal preparations. The medical properties of this spice stem from the presence of a particular molecule called piperine, a nitrogen-based compound. This article will explore the specific benefits of BioPerine, a patented extract of piperine derived from black pepper.

Pepper, a popular spice, is widely used to season foods and also has many medicinal properties. These properties are due to the effect of a specific compound called piperine, which gives pepper its unique flavor. BioPerine is a regulated black pepper extract containing 95% piperine. Other ingredients of BioPerine include dibasic calcium phosphate and magnesium stearate (stearic acid).

BioPerine is a completely safe piperine supplement certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It’s a healthy option to improve piperine intake, which has several health benefits.

BioPerine benefits

Improves nutrient absorption

There is increasing interest in the effectiveness of specific molecules that improve the availability of other nutrients to aid physiological functions. Such molecules are called bioavailability enhancers, and piperine is widely considered a vital bioenhancer.

BioPerine is widely utilized to improve the absorption of several nutrients and other supplements. One of Bioperine's most popular uses is to improve curcumin's absorption. Curcumin is the most effective and widely available biological compound in turmeric.

BioPerine also enhances the absorption of vitamins and nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, coenzyme Q10 (an antioxidant), and other fat- and water-soluble vitamins and herbal extracts via several biological processes.

Enhances metabolism

Studies indicate that BioPerine improves metabolism through a process called thermogenesis. 

First, your body absorbs nutrients from your food and uses them to carry out several physiological functions through thermogenesis. When your body utilizes these nutrients, that increases the absorption of more nutrients from your food to fulfill this new demand. BioPerine enhances the absorption of such nutrients, making them more readily available for thermogenesis and thus increasing metabolism.

Reduces the risk of neurological conditions

According to research, the presence of BioPerine reduces the risk of many neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Research also indicates the beneficial effects of BioPerine on the retention of cognitive abilities. A 2022 study found that piperine lowers the damage affecting receptors in the central nervous system that could lead to certain neurodegenerative conditions. According to this study, using piperine in combination with other bioactive compounds like curcumin reduces the damage to cognitive functions by limiting oxidative stress.

Piperine protects the neurons (brain cells) from the harmful effects of cytokine, which causes inflammation in the brain and impacts mitochondrial action. Piperine’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier enhances the transportation of nutrients to certain parts of the brain, thus supporting many of the brain’s critical functions. Notably, piperine improves the bioavailability of curcumin by over 2,000%, which researchers believe could considerably reduce the risk of cerebral stroke, which can otherwise lead to brain cell death due to inadequate nutrients.

Has antimicrobial properties

Piperine acts against various viruses, such as Ebola and dengue. According to a 2022 study, piperine has a greater tendency to regulate viral proteins compared to other antibiotics and inhibits their functions. Another 2006 study found that piperine enhances the antiviral effect of many antibiotics. In fact, piperine increases the effectiveness of antibiotics by as much as 200% (this amount was calculated by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration of antibiotics). It does this by acting on the cell membrane of a microorganism and reducing its durability.

Has potential anticancer properties

Research also reveals the anticancer effects of piperine. A 2009 study indicates the positive effects of piperine in combination with curcumin in reducing cancerous growth. According to the study, piperine inhibits the growth of cancerous cells by as much as 50% without any toxic effects on normal cells. That being said, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved and the exact effects of piperine, as well as supplements like BioPerine.

May have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects

Piperine also prevents cell damage caused by free radicals due to its anti-inflammatory effects. A 2020 study indicated the effectiveness of piperine’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics when it was used on human skin that came in contact with ultraviolet radiation. The study underscored the protective effects of piperine on keratin, a protein present on the outermost layer of your skin, nails, and hair.

According to the study, piperine inhibits the inflammatory mechanisms in the body that could potentially damage keratin. The study also revealed that piperine is a more effective anti-inflammatory agent than other commonly used chemicals such as celecoxib.

Could increase hemoglobin levels

A 2016 study indicated the positive effects of BioPerine on hemoglobin levels. The study examined 30 participants who exercised regularly over 56 days, then evaluated their serum and total iron levels. According to the study, using BioPerine with iron supplements increased iron absorption.

A separate 2020 study also identified enhanced iron absorption in the presence of BioPerine. In the study, professional rowers with at least three years of experience took iron supplements and BioPerine during the 10-week sporting season. According to the study, these athletes reported increased iron levels without reduced performance. However, more research is needed to definitively assess the efficacy of consuming iron supplements with BioPerine.

Is BioPerine the same as black pepper?

BioPerine is the name given to a standardized extract of piperine, which is one of the most widely available compounds in black pepper. So, while BioPerine is not exactly black pepper, it has the same effects as the pepper’s most important ingredient. 

Many studies have shown the health benefits of piperine intake, such as improved metabolism, better nutrient absorption, and reduced inflammation. Still, more research is needed.

If you’re planning to take piperine supplements, check with your doctor to see if they’re safe for you. Keep in mind that eating too much of any supplement may cause side effects. Possible side effects of BioPerine include gut irritation, stomach discomfort, extensive weight loss, and irritation in your nasal passage due to accidental inhalation

If you prefer to avoid taking supplements, you can also increase your piperine intake by adding black pepper to dishes like salads and stir-fry.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/18/2022
References
SOURCES:

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: "Piperine, a Phytochemical Potentiator of Ciprofloxacin against Staphylococcus aureus."

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine: "Bioavailability enhancers of herbal origin: An overview."

Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences: "Molecular and pharmacological aspects of piperine as a potential molecule for disease prevention and management: evidence from clinical trials."

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment: "Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine."

International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research: "A clinical study on iron deficiency anemia with bioiron."

Kidney Urology: "BioPerine, helpful or harmful? Everything about BioPerine."

Life Sciences: "Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of piperine on UV-B-irradiated human HaCaT keratinocyte cells."

Nutrients: "Iron and Physical Activity: Bioavailability Enhancers, Properties of Black Pepper (BioperineĀ®) and Potential Applications."