Piper Nigrum / BioPerine®
Piperine is an extract of the Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum) which is a flowering vine found in South India. The fruit of the vine is dried and grinded and the a certain common strand is used as a seasoning worldwide. Similar to the St John’s wort flower, Piperine amplifies the effects of nootropics and pharmaceuticals by inhibiting their elimination and amplifying transportation within the body. This makes it a valuable tool in boosting the effects of all natural nootropics. [source:1]
BioPerine® is a patented form of Piperine, of which Earthly Biotics has been granted access to. To take any vitamins, minerals, earth grown ingredients, and natural nootropics without it would have you not taking full advantage of the benefits involved. As Bioperine® has found to enhance absorption of nutrients by at least 30%.
Piperine was first discovered and isolated by Hans Christian Ørsted, the Danish chemist responsible for discovering magnetic fields created by electric currents, in 1819. [source:2]. It has been consumed in the human diet since ancient times, though most unknowingly to western civilisation is that it is considered a great herbal medicine, the ‘King of Spices’ has many uses.
Black pepper has been documents as one of the three essential herb ingredients for several formulations by the Materia Medica of Ayurveda. With 370 compound formulations cited in the Handbook of Domestic Medicine and Common Ayurvedic Remedies, 210 contain its individual ingredients or Trikatu (the meaning of ‘three acrids’). Trikatu, in Ayurveda is described as being a major decoction for use to restore balance of Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.
BioPerine® first arose 20 years ago, and has continued to improve the bioavailability aspects of its product.
Alongside the action of enhancing other components of Earthly Biotics nootropics, Piperine also acts as a nootropic itself. The key benefits we will discuss are:
- Boosts Bioavailability
- Potentiates the Beneficial Effects of Low-Bioavailable Ingredients
- Protects Against Alzheimer’s
- Works as An Anti-Depressant
A trial was undertaken to discover Piperine’s effects on bioavailability of Vitamin B6. Participants were given 100mg of Vitamin B6, either with or without BioPerine®. After two hours, the test group’s B6 results were 2.5 times higher than the control group and even after four hours, they were 1.4 times higher than the control group’s. [source:3]
The University of Wisconsin, USA studied the effects of BioPerine® on the bioavailability of Resveratrol (which is structurally similar to but less effective than Global Focus’ ingredient Pterostilbene). 16 participants were given a combination of 500mg Resveratrol and either 10mg BioPerine® or a placebo over a four-week period. The participants performed three tests of strength of their non-dominant arm each week, with the contra-lateral arm serving as a control. BioPerine® improved the Resveratrol’s bioavailability by 229% and the combined supplementation enhanced the musclo-skeletal mitochondrial capacity by 40% compared to the baseline. [source:4]
Potentiates The Beneficial Effects of Low-Bioavailable Ingredients
Curcumin for example, the bioactive compound extracted from turmeric, is a nootropic which has been proven to provide protection for brain health and cognition. Unfortunately, curcumin has poor bioavailability in supplement form as it is rapidly metabolized. Piperine boosts the bioavailability, allowing the body to reap greater rewards. This effect can then be taken to work on similar natural compounds.
An Indian study tested the blood levels of mice to monitor uptake of curcumin over a 4-hour period. The mice were given 2g/kg of curcumin and after 2 hours only minute amounts of curcumin were detected. The mice were then given a further 2g/kg of curcumin, this time combined with 20mg/k of Piperine. The results were significant; curcumin levels increased 154% when combined with Piperine. The study was then replicated in humans, producing similar results. A 2g dose was not detected in blood samples, but when combined with Piperine, it was visible within 15 minutes, an increased bioavailability of 2000%. [source:5]
A similar study was carried out to test the curcumin/Piperine combination on stress-induced, cognitive impairment in mice. Over 28 days, the mice were put under chronic stress, resulting in impaired locomotor activity, memory, mitochondria function and increased cortisol levels. The mice were then treated with a 200mg/k or 400mg/k daily dose of curcumin, which reversed all of the damage to some extent. 20mg/k of Piperine was then added to a reduced curcumin dose of 100mg/k or 200mg/k and the results showed that Piperine greatly impacted the fight against cognitive impairment caused by stress. [source:6]
Protects Against Alzheimer’s
Researchers in Thailand conducted a test of the effects of Piperine on the memory and neurodegeneration of mice. The mice were given doses of 5, 10 or 20mg/k of weight for two weeks, before being subject to artificially induced Alzheimer’s like conditions, and the doses continued for a week after. Results showed that all dosages made significant improvements on the mice’s memory and signs of neurodegeneration in the hippocampus. The researchers involved in the trial hypothesised that the reason for the positive cognitive benefits were due to Piperine decreasing both lipid peroxidation and the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. [source:7]
Works as An Anti-Depressant
Working as an inhibitor of both monoamine oxidase A and B (MAO-A and MAO-B), dopamine regulators, Piperine improves mood by allowing more dopamine to circulate. [source:8]
A Korean study analyzed this effect of Piperine as an inhibitor of MAO and concluded that it was as effective at treating depression as the pharmaceutical antidepressant Prozac®. [source:9]
Piperine has also been found to increase the levels of serotonin within the hippocampus and front cortex, another ‘happy’ hormone. [source:10]
Scientists have found that by combining Piperine with Resveratrol(which is structurally similar to but less effective than Global Focus’ ingredient Pterostilbene), a natural antidepressant, the combined effect was significant antidepressant action, without the untoward side-effects often experienced with prescriptions MAOI’s and SSRI’s. Interestingly the combination also reduced inflammation, relieved oxidative stress and provided neuroprotection. [source:11] It was discovered that mice injected with Piperine, after only an hour, measured higher in serotonin and dopamine, and lower in norepinephrine. [source:12]
Piperine has a wide range of diverse physiological effects as highlighted in & summed up in the following research paper [source:13].
- Helps to protect against oxidative stress and the resulting damage (e.g. cell mutations, tumors)
- Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- Stimulates digestive enzymes of the pancreas
- Enhances digestive capacity and significantly reduces gastrointestinal food transit time
As Piperine is an extract of black pepper, it is considered non-toxic and safe when taken at the recommended dosage.
Piperine amplifies the effects of most prescription medications and nootropic supplements so care should be taken to avoid unwanted consequences of this. If in doubt, speak to a medical professional.
Be aware of any additional supplements you are taking that may include Piperine as an ingredient. An excess of Piperine may either amplify the drugs and supplements you are taking or negate them completely.
This information should be used for guidance only, please consult with a medical professional before taking any dietary supplement. Should you suffer from any ongoing medical conditions or have any concerns at all, consult your doctor in the first instance.
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Source : 1 : RK, BHARDWAJ, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Aug 2002. June 2018
Source : 2 : PROF, OERSTEDT, et al. Journal Für Chemie Und Physik, Vol:29 Page:80. June 2018
Source : 3 : Anon, et al. BioPerine® Website Online. June 2018
Source : 4 : Anon, et al. BioPerine® Website Online. June 2018
Source : 5 : G, SHOBA, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, May 1998. June 2018
Source : 6 : P, RINWA, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Dec 2012. June 2018
Source : 7 : P, CHONPATHOMPIKUNLERT, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Mar 2010. June 2018
Source : 8 : SA, LEE, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Jul 2005. June 2018
Source : 9 : SA, LEE, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Jul 2005. June 2018
Source : 10 : QQ, MAO, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Jun 2011. June 2018
Source : 11 : W, HUANG, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Dec 2013. June 2018
Source : 12 : A, MORI, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, Sep 1985. June 2018
Source : 13 : K, SRINIVASAN, et al. National Centre for Biotechnology Information, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA, 2007. June 2018