Have you ever heard of Piperine? You may have noticed the herb in various forms such as peppermint, black or white pepper – it is even used in some popular medications and supplements. But did you know that Piperine has a long history of medicinal use; it was first noted in Indian Ayurvedic texts over 3000 years ago! Aside from being an important food spice, there are multiple health benefits associated with this naturally occurring compound. Let's take a closer look at what makes Piperine so special, its many uses and potential side effects to consider before supplementing with this powerful ingredient.

What is Piperine?

The alkaloid piperine is present in other Piper species as well as black pepper (Piper nigrum). Black pepper's strong flavor is a result of piperine. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer activities are just a few of the pharmacological effects it has. The bioavailability of various nutrients and medications is also improved by piperine.

Health Benefits of Piperine

Due to its many pharmacological effects, piperine has a variety of health advantages.

Antimicrobial Action

Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and other bacteria have all been shown to be susceptible to piperine's antibacterial properties.

An anti-inflammatory effect

In studies on animals, piperine has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. It prevents the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-).

Activity of Antioxidants

In several studies, piperine has demonstrated antioxidant activity. It neutralizes free radicals and guards against oxidative cell damage. Other nutrients, like vitamin C, are also enhanced by piperine in terms of their antioxidant capacities.

anti-cancer properties

Breast, ovarian, colon, and pancreatic cancer are just a few of the cancer cell lines where piperine has demonstrated anticancer activity. Piperine promotes cell death and slows the growth of cancer cells.

Piperine Enhances Bioavailability

It has been demonstrated that piperine increases the bioavailability of many nutrients and medications. The nutrients selenium, curcumin, beta-carotene, and other nutrients are better absorbed when piperine is present. Additionally, piperine improves the bioavailability of some medications, including ampicillin and phenytoin.

Side Effects of Piperine

In general, people tolerate piperine well. gastrointestinal side effects, like nausea and vomiting, can happen to some people. Before taking piperine supplements, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare professional because piperine may interact with some medications.

Dosages of Piperine

There is no known safe or efficient dosage for piperine. Up to 5 mg per day have been used in some studies. Higher dosages could have negative effects. Because there are insufficient safety data, piperine supplements are not advised for women who are pregnant or nursing.

Mechanism of Action

Piperine has a variety of pharmacological effects, due to its interaction with various biological targets. Piperine inhibits the activity of certain enzymes, such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and xanthine oxidase. Piperine also modulates the activity of certain transcription factors, such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) .

These effects contribute to piperine’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. Piperine also enhances the bioavailability of various nutrients and drugs. Piperine inhibits drug metabolism by inhibiting the activity of certain enzymes, such as cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) . Piperine also increases the permeability of cell membranes, which enhances the absorption of nutrients and drugs .

Alternatives to Piperine

Many substances are similar to piperine in their pharmacological effects. These consist of gingerol, capsaicin, and curcumin. Because there are insufficient safety data, piperine supplements are not advised for women who are pregnant or nursing.


The drug ampicillin is one that may interact with piperine. The bioavailability of other medications, such as phenytoin, may also be enhanced by piperine. Piperine slows down the metabolism of drugs by preventing some enzymes, like cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4,) from working. Additionally, piperine makes cell membranes more permeable, which improves the absorption of nutrients and medications.

People who are taking medications that are metabolized by CYP3A4 should use piperine with caution. These medicines consist of:

Statins (including atorvastatin and simvastatin)

-Calcium channel blockers, including verapamil and nifedipine

-Antidepressants, including sertraline and fluoxetine

-Antiarrhythmics, including procainamide and quinidine

-Immunosuppressive drugs, including tacrolimus and cyclosporine

Additionally, piperine may interact with other medications that make cell membranes more permeable. These drugs consist of:

inhibitors of Pgp

-Inhibitors of BCRP, such as eltrombopag

Additionally, piperine may interact with drugs that are P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP) substrates. These drugs consist of:

-Inhibitors of the HIV protease, such as saquinavir and ritonavir