How does Black Pepper improve the health benefits of Turmeric?

How does Black Pepper improve the health benefits of Turmeric?

Recent research is putting a great emphasis on the health benefits of Turmeric. However, Turmeric alone is not very useful unless combined with a small quantity of black pepper. Why?

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, a bright yellow chemical, which gives turmeric its vibrant colour. Curcumin has been shown to be beneficial for its anti-inflammatory properties. When you ingest turmeric with black pepper, you are increasing the amount of curcumin you can absorb and your body can utilize. Most of the Turmeric taken orally does not reach the blood and is eliminated in urine and stool as inactive metabolits. There are enzymes in the gut and liver which degrade turmeric and its active component curcumin into inactive compounds (metabolites). However, when black pepper is added, its active component piperine inhibits the enzymes in gut and liver and prevents and delays the degradation of curcumin. One study demonstrated an increase in the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% when black pepper was added.

The reason black pepper enables this increase in our body using curcumin, is due to piperine a compound found in black pepper, which slows our liver from metabolising the curcumin too quickly and removing it through urine.

By slowing this process our body is able to utilize more of the curcumin and its beneficial effects. Curcumin is quickly metabolised and removed from the body by the liver and the intestinal wall, due to its poor bioavailability.

What is Bioavailability?

The bioavailability of a food is the amount of a nutrient which is available and readily absorbed by the body to be used for metabolic purposes in the body, from the food that we eat. Some nutrients have a high bioavailability and can be digested, absorbed and metabolised by the body. However, when a nutrient has a poor or low bioavailability (certain vitamins and minerals) the process of digestion, absorption and metabolism can vary and this may also be affected by other vitamins and minerals that we consume and these can either inhibit or facilitate these processes.

Turmeric root

To enhance our body maximizing the bioavailability of curcumin, it has been shown adding black pepper enables this increase in bioavailability.

A 6 month randomised, double-blinded and placebo controlled study, on subjects diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, found that those who were not taking the placebo and had curcumin, had a lower atherogenic risk, and an improvement in their metabolic profile (Chuengsamarn et al., 2014).

Piperine in Black Pepper

The compound, piperine, found in black pepper is what gives black pepper its taste.

Piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of nutrients in both food and supplements. This includes selenium, the B vitamins, and beta-carotene. Piperine has also been found to support and enhance the liver’s detoxification process (Murray et al., 2005). The way piperine enables the increase of bioavailability of nutrients and in this case curcumin, is that it inhibits the rate of metabolism of curcumin by increasing the time it resides in the intestines to increase intestinal absorption, and inhibits some of the enzymes (which are drug detoxifying enzymes) in the intestines that would usually break down and metabolise the curcumin (Ajazuddin, 2014). This process of inhibiting enzymes is beneficial in the case for increasing the bioavailability of curcumin.

One study found that when participants took a 2 g capsule of curcumin alone, it was present at undetectable or very low levels in blood (Shoba et al., 1998). When it was accompanied with 20 mg piperine, a higher concentration of serum levels was achieved and an increase in bioavailability of 2000%. It was also found that piperine increases the bioavailability of curcumin with no adverse effects (Shoba et al., 1998).

Moreover, when curcumin and piperine were administered together, the intestinal absorption rate increased, and stayed significantly longer in the body tissue than when curcumin was administered alone (Suresh and Srinivasan, 2010).

Accordingly Fine Healthcare Group Inc. released its product “Fine’s Arthritis Relief Pectin Gummies for adults” which is considered a balanced, safe and effective natural supplement designed to improve pain and inflammation of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions in addition to various other health benefits.

What are the health benefits of Turmeric and Black Pepper in Fine’s Arthritis Relief Pectin Gummies

1. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation is a highly important process in the human body. Inflammation helps the body fights foreign invaders and also has an important role in repairing tissue damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria, fungi and viruses could easily take over our bodies and may induce serious complications. Albeit acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic (long-term) and inappropriately directed against the body's own tissues. It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions. Accordingly, anything that helps control chronic inflammation is of utmost importance in preventing and even treating these diseases. Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it may match the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin actually targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level. Research demonstrated curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that passes into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases. Thus, research confirmed curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level. In several studies, its potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs... except without the side effects . Many research articles confirmed curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and as a complementary treatment for ulcerative colitis (UC) according to a review published in the December 2010 issue of “Surgical Neurology International.” Turmeric powder is taken three times daily to help reduce swelling and inflammation around the joints. Turmeric extract is another alternative treatment for RA. A solution containing 94 percent of the three major curcuminoids was found effective at preventing arthritis when taken before the onset of joint inflammation (Journal of Natural Products, 2006).

2. Turmeric Boosts The Antioxidant Capacity of Our Body

Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms involved in aging and many other diseases. It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.

Curcumin has been shown to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.  But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body's own antioxidant enzymes. In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly then stimulates the body's own antioxidant mechanisms.

3. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
At one time in the past, it was believed that neurons weren't able to divide and multiply after early childhood. However, it is now known this can happen. The neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number. One of the main stimulants of this process is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain. Various brain disorders have been linked to low levels of BDNF. This includes depression and Alzheimer's disease.
Curcumin has been shown to be capable of increasing brain levels of BDNF. By doing this, it may be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decline in brain function. There is also a possibility it may improve memory and make you smarter. This issue definitely needs to be tested in human controlled trials.

4. Curcumin Lowers Risks of Heart Disease
Heart disease is considered globally killer number 1. It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens. It seems heart disease is highly complicated and there are various risk factors contributing to it.
Curcumin may help to reverse many steps in the heart disease process. Possibly, the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major cause of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors. Several studies suggest curcumin may improve endothelial function. One research study shows it is as effective as exercise. Another study shows it works as well as the lipid lowering drug, atorvastatin. But curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which are also important in heart disease. In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery. The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital.
5. Turmeric May Prevent and Treat Cancer
Cancer is a nasty disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells. There are many different forms of cancer, but they do have several commonalities, some of which appear to be affected by curcumin supplementation. Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. Research has shown curcumin can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells. Multiple studies have shown curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals. Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like black pepper) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be tested properly. However, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system (like colorectal cancer). In one study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40%. Possibly curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It's too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and this is being intensively studied as we speak.

6. Curcumin May Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Unfortunately, no effective treatment is available for Alzheimer's yet. Therefore, prevention of this disease is of utmost importance. Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin possesses beneficial effects on both. But one key feature of Alzheimer's disease is a buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Studies show curcumin can help in clearing these plaques. Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer's disease needs to be studied properly.
Both black pepper and turmeric show benefits in helping to protect against cognitive impairment and may help improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Male Wistar rats given piperine from black pepper over a two-week period showed a significant improvement in memory impairment (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2010).” Curcumin in turmeric may help reduce memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. One study on mice with the human Alzheimer's disease gene fed mice a no-dose curcumin diet, low-dose curcumin diet or a high-dose curcumin diet over six months (Current Alzheimer Research, 2005). Both the low-dose and high-dose curcumin-fed mice showed reduced genetic factors of age-related memory loss. Further research is needed in human Alzheimer’s disease patients to provide conclusive results.

7. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation
Arthritis is a very common disorder in most countries. There are several different types, but most involve some sort of inflammation in the joints. Since curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, it is expected it may help with arthritis. Several studies show this to be true. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug. Many other studies investigating the effects of curcumin on arthritis noted improvements in various symptoms.

8. Curcumin may improve Depression
Curcumin has demonstrated some promise in treating depression. In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups. One group took fluoxetine, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both fluoxetine and curcumin. After 6 weeks, curcumin induced improvements similar to fluoxetine. The group that took both fluoxetine and curcumin fared best. According to this (small) study, curcumin may be as effective as an antidepressant. Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes. There is also some evidence curcumin may boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

9. Peptic Ulcer

Turmeric and black pepper may have beneficial effects on gastric mucosal damage, peptic ulcer (World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2010). Curcumin inhibits the growth of all strains of the H. pylori bacteria, which is associated with peptic ulcer disease.

The Bottom Line

Fine Healthcare Group Incorporation introducing the safest product for treating Pain & Inflammation: Fine’s Arthritis Relief

A balanced, safe and effective natural supplement designed to improve pain and inflammation of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. This product may also:

  • Improve nerve pain
  • Improve menstrual pain
  • Improve peptic ulcer and ulcerative colitis
  • Improve vitiligo
  • Improve depression
  • Improve Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prevent damage caused by free radicals
  • Prevent various kinds of cancer
  • Protect vital organs including brain, heart, liver and kidneys
  • Protect against various types of infections
  • Prevent gallstones formation
  • Normalize blood glucose levels
  • Prevent alcohol intoxication
  • Accelerate wound healing

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