Our Members Asked:
Will sprinkling black pepper on food with turmeric help increase the bioavailability of curcumin in the turmeric?
Black pepper contains piperine, a compound which has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin — a key anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric.
While regular black pepper (used as a spice in foods) contains a much smaller percentage of piperine than black pepper extracts, which are highly concentrated (such as Bioperine) — it is possible to get enough piperine from regular black pepper to significantly increase the bioavailability of turmeric in food.
Be aware that piperine not only slows the breakdown of curcumin, but can also slow the breakdown of CoQ10 as well as many medications, including certain NSAIDs. This will increase the bioavailability of these agents and their levels in the body, which can be problematic if trying to maintain a steady level. At high doses, piperine may also cause gastrointestinal irritation, and potentially, bleeding due to an anti-platelet effect.
For more details about differences between ground black pepper and black pepper extract, and information about safety, side effects and potential drug interactions with black pepper extract, sign in as a member to see the full answer. Also see our Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements & Spices Review, which also includes our Top Picks among products.