Piperine – black pepper not only for weight loss
When we prepare our next tasty dish, we always add numerous flavor-enhancing spices to it. They are usually of natural origin, in the form of extracts from herbs and other plants, or dried fruits, such as black peppercorns. Its characteristic spiciness is known to everyone, but few people know that it is used not only in cooking, but also in natural medicine. Initially used only in the East, from where it arrived to our continent, and for preparation of medicinal preparations mainly the skin of its seeds is used, which contains piperine, an alkaloid with valuable health and slimming properties.
- 1 Black pepper – where this hot spice comes from
- 2 Black pepper – what its grains contain
- 3 Piperine – an effective aid in weight loss
- 4 Black pepper – other therapeutic properties
- 5 Black pepper and piperine – side effects and contraindications
Black pepper – where this hot spice comes from
It is hard to imagine cooking without black pepper, which gives exceptional aroma and flavour to every dish, known and appreciated already in ancient Rome. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a species of perennial plant, which belongs to a large pepper family. It originates from India but nowadays it is cultivated in almost all of Asia, in addition to Brazil, Indonesia and China, with Vietnam being its largest importer.
Under natural conditions, peppercorns grow up to 15 m high and form a climbing plant that weaves around other trees. It has a stem whose lower parts are woody and aerial roots growing in nodes. The leaves are dark green, leathery, 10 – 15 cm long, sharply pointed and lighter underneath. The flowers are celadon-white and gathered in characteristic spikelets. However, the most important are the fruits, spherical, 5 mm in diameter, green in the first phase of growth, then turning red and finally black. It is them that provide our body with piperine and other substances essential for health.
Black pepper – what its grains contain
Before we get to know all substances with healing and slimming properties which constitute black pepper, we should know that the one we consume is in fact unripe fruit dried in the sun. It is its rays that make it black, but at the same time it does not lose anything of its aroma and properties. These small, wrinkled seeds hide a lot of valuable nutrients, being a source of such substances as:
It is this alkaloid, which gives peppercorns their pungent taste, but it is its other properties, which made it used as an ingredient in many preparations supporting weight loss and weakened health. It is a natural alkaloid, whose primary function was to protect the plant from pathogenic microorganisms, a crystalline substance, usually colorless and insoluble in water. Black pepper contains 4.4 to 7.5 percent of it in 100 grams of whole peppercorns, and the most important properties of piperine, confirmed by scientific research, are:
- antioxidant activity, as a natural antioxidant it helps remove free radicals, reactive oxygen species that threaten health and are the cause of many diseases;
- inhibiting the development of infections and inflammation by strengthening a weakened immune system;
- anti-cancer effect, which it shows especially with simultaneous supplementation of curcumin, reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in women, among others;
- lowering too high blood pressure, so it can be used for hypertension;
- increasing the efficiency of the body necessary for daily physical activity, an important element of any weight loss treatment;
- stimulation of gastric juice secretion, conditioning proper digestion, making it easier to get rid of all the excess weight;
- more efficient cleansing of the body of dangerous bacteria and toxins, also important in terms of weight loss;
- increase in body temperature and consequently acceleration of metabolism, which facilitates burning of excess fat tissue;
- reducing blood glucose levels;
- improving the absorption of other important nutrients, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, provitamin A, or beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10 and selenium;
- alleviating symptoms of Alzheimera and Parkinson’s disease;
- counteracting the negative effects of severe stress, also interfering with the process of weight reduction.
Considered to be one of the most important for maintaining full health, performing extremely important functions in the human body. Black peppercorns are a valuable source of it, and it is responsible for among others
- process of seeing;
- processes of fat metabolism and protein synthesis;
- growth and regeneration of many body cells;
- counteracting cancer development, including prostate, colon and lung cancer;
- strong natural immunity;
- production of larger amounts of collagen, a component of connective tissue, and elastin to maintain firmness and elasticity of the skin;
- faster healing of acne and accelerated wound healing;
- fighting against dangerous pathogenic microorganisms, bacteria and viruses, and as an antioxidant, it removes free radicals.
We can’t function without them either, and because our body doesn’t store them, we need to provide them from the outside, also in the form of dietary supplements containing black pepper. It contains several B vitamins which have different, but always positive effect on our health:
- vitaminB1, thiamine, which participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids, improves the work of the nervous system, ensures good memory and better concentration;
- VitaminB2, riboflavin, conditioning the processes of metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, supporting vision and weakened immunity;
- VitaminB3, niacin, also called vitamin PP, affecting the nervous system, preventing insomnia, relieving digestive disorders, reducing the level of “bad” cholesterol, regulating the secretion of many hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and cortisol;
- Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, takes care of skin health, joint efficiency, prevents hair loss, takes part in the synthesis of vitamin D and steroid hormones;
- VitaminB9, folic acid, needed for DNA synthesis, proper fetal development, amino acid metabolism, better wound healing, relieving inflammation of the digestive system, preventing cardiovascular disease;
- Vitamin B12, a cobalamin, also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, supporting the fight against stress, the formation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells, enhancing immunity and muscle activity
Vitamin E, a component of black pepper, commonly known as “Vitamin of youth and fertilityAmong which it is worth mentioning:
- Strong antioxidant properties;
- counteracts blood clots by preventing the phenomenon of aggregation, i.e. platelets sticking together;
- ensuring its proper coagulation;
- reduction of cholesterol level LDL;
- halting and delaying skin ageing processes;
- preventing birth defects of the fetus;
- slowing down the degeneration of brain cells, which is why vitamin E is so important for people with Alzheimera or Parkinson’s disease;
- relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome;
- increase fertility, both in men and in women.
Analyzing the composition of pepper, one cannot underestimate the importance of vitamin K, responsible for, among other things:
- preventing hemorrhages by sealing and strengthening weakened blood vessel walls;
- Participation in the production of blood clotting factors;
- support of the skeletal system, maintenance of the body’s normal calcium metabolism
- prevention of infections through strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects
- alleviation of pain.
Among the numerous substances that peppercorns contain, we can also find large amounts of beneficial minerals, the most important of which are:
- calcium, the main building block of bones and teeth, whose proper level protects against osteoporosis, speeds up the healing of broken bones, and ensures the proper functioning of muscles;
- iron, found in haemoglobin, responsible for delivering oxygen to all cells, used in the process of erythrocytes formation, detoxification of the body, cholesterol metabolism, fighting pathogenic microorganisms and supporting the nervous system;
- phosphorus, another material that co-forms bones, maintains the acid-base balance, co-responsible for conduction of nerve impulses, works best when combined with adequate doses of vitamin C;
- magnesium, not without reason called the “element of life”, minimizing the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It strengthens immunity, prevents depression and other effects of stress, improves brain function and digestion, in combination with vitamin D strengthens bones and teeth.
Apart from minerals listed above black pepper also contains zinc, potassium, sodium, manganese and selenium.
Piperine – an effective aid in weight loss
The properties of black peppercorns result directly from their rich composition, in which piperine is, of course, the most important. It can, in combination with other ingredients, effectively support the process of weight reduction, but again, I emphasize, only support it. When using various preparations and dietary supplements with piperine, such as Piperinox, we must simultaneously maintain a proper and easily digestible diet and provide ourselves with a large dose of daily physical activity. Only such a combination guarantees effectiveness in the fight against overweight and obesity and achieving the slim figure of our dreams.
Piperine is recommended as one of the elements of slimming therapy due to its multifaceted effects:
- intensifying digestive and metabolic processes;
- raising, of course in a completely safe manner, body temperature, thus enabling faster burning of calories and excess fatty tissue, thus it is classified as a so-called thermogenic;
- preventing the formation and accumulation of new fat cells;
- increasing the absorption of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals also needed for weight loss;
- suppressing the appetite, thus eliminating snacking between meals, one of the main causes of growing overweight.
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Black pepper – other therapeutic properties
Properties which support weight loss are not the only arguments for using preparations with black pepper extracts. It is characterized by a much broader pro-health effect, having beneficial influence on
- efficient cleaning of the body from toxins and metabolic residues, thanks to the mild laxative and diuretic effect;
- reduced risk of cancer development;
- disinfection of wounds due to antiseptic effects
- improved endurance and physical performance, providing energy necessary for any form of activity;
- better blood supply to the digestive system, which allows the absorption of more nutrients essential to health;
- inhibiting, and to a large extent, the development of the aforementioned neurodegenerative diseases;
- alleviating the symptoms of severe nervous tension, including the most dangerous depression;
- enhancing libido, and thanks to its effect on sexual arousal it can be considered a natural aphrodisiac.
Black pepper and piperine – side effects and contraindications
In order to achieve positive effects of piperine use, it is necessary to adhere to the recommended dosage of 5-10 mg taken twice a day. If you exceed the recommended dosage, you may experience side effects, fortunately not very troublesome, mostly associated with the digestive system, nausea, constipation and stomach pains. It is also worth paying attention to piperine contraindicationsbefore starting the treatment:
- it may interact with some medications, especially antibiotics;
- When taken in large amounts, it irritates the mucous membrane of the alimentary tract;
- should not be taken by people suffering from stomach ulcers;
- It is not recommended for children and pregnant women.