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Question:
How does regular black pepper compare with black pepper extract used in supplements? Will sprinkling it on food with turmeric help increase the bioavailability of curcumin compounds from turmeric?

Answer:
Black pepper contains piperine, a compound which has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin — a key anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric. Piperine appears to do this inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down curcumin in the body. Piperine may similarly increase the bioavailability of certain supplement ingredients, such as CoQ10, as well as drugs (as discussed in the Concerns and Cautions in the Turmeric Supplements Review). 

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. Sign in to see the full answer >>

Also see these related CL Answers:

I recently read that turmeric is only effective if it is combined with black pepper. Is this true? >>

How does turmeric spice compare to turmeric (curcumin) in supplements? I sprinkle it on my foods and wonder if that's equivalent to taking a supplement. >>

Can curcumin with black pepper extract cause constipation? I had this problem when taking a curcumin formula with piperine, but it resolved when I switched to a curcumin supplement without this added ingredient. >>


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Comments
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James P 12845   March 22, 2017
I have discovered for those of us who suffer from Migraines that using Turmeric Powder to 1 TBSP of Honey and in a small glass of Milk will relieve the headache within 30 to 45 Minutes. The best way to mix it is to head all the ingredients and microwave for 40 sec and afterwards mix with a spoon and drink the whole thing down quickly. It really works for me and hope it works for you. I found this on the web under Turmeric Remedies.

Stan12839   March 19, 2017
It makes me a bit uneasy to read that something as commonplace as black pepper can inhibit enzymes that infuence the breakdown of supplements and drugs- whether in a positive, or perhaps a negative fashion in some cases.
There is a lot we probably don't know about the combinations and interactions of supplements. spices and foods (or lack therefof) as they affect our optimal functioning.
Sites such as yours help of course , but often it seems like a hit & miss game...

This CL Answer initially posted on 3/18/2017. Last updated 7/25/2017.

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