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Health benefits

Black pepper has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a variety of diseases, including fever, tuberculosis, leukaemia, sleeping problems, respiratory tract infections, chronic gut-related pain, and arthritic conditions. Piperine being the main biologically active compound in black pepper has shown various health and therapeutic benefits. Many pharmacological studies have shown that piperine possesses hypolipidemic (fat lowering), anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, anti-asthmatic, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic activities. Clinical research studies have demonstrated that the piperine can also assist in cognitive brain functioning, enhances nutrient's absorption, metabolism and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Recent clinical studies have shown piperine assist in enhancing the absorption of certain vitamins such as Selenium, Vitamin B and β-Carotene. There are numerous research findings which support the various health benefits associated with piperine.

Influence on digestion: Piperine is reported to act as a digestive tract stimulant for stomach secretions and affect the rapidity of movement of food through the digestive tract. Piperine favourably stimulates the digestive enzymes of pancreas which enhances the digestive capacity and significantly reduces the gastrointestinal food transit time.

Improvement of bioavailability of other biologically active health promoters:Piperine compound operates through several pathways to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients from food and other health supplements. It stimulates amino-acid transporters in the intestinal lining, regulates enzymes that metabolize nutritional substances, and inhibits the removal of substances from cells. Each of these actions allows nutrients to enter and remain within their target cells for longer periods of time than would normally be the case.

Weight management:Oral ingestion of piperine resulted in increased secretion of neuro-hormones from a specialised organ in the body. Alkaloid piperine may also aid the body’s thermogenic response by promoting thyroid hormone production which has been identified as a key factor in maintaining weight loss.

Antioxidant effect: Piperine has been shown to protect against oxidative damage by inhibiting or quenching free radicals and reactive oxygen. It also protects against oxidation of human low density lipoprotein.

Cholesterol reduction: piperine is the active compound in black pepper which can reduce plasma levels of total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL.

Anticancer activity: Several researchers have reported that piperine has a role in anticancer activity as studied in various cancer cell lines, such as the inhibition of lung metastasis and inhibition of prostate cancer.

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