Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.
It gives curry its yellow color and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years to treat various health conditions.
Studies support its use and show that it can benefit your health.
But coupling turmeric with black pepper may enhance its effects.
In recent years, research has confirmed that turmeric has medicinal properties. And while most people think of it as nothing but a seasoning, black pepper can benefit health as well.
Both turmeric and black pepper have key active ingredients that contribute to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and disease-fighting qualities.
Curcumin in Turmeric
The key compounds in turmeric are called curcuminoids. Curcumin itself is the most active ingredient and appears to be the most important.
As a polyphenol, curcumin has several advantages to health. It’s a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
However, one of the greatest downfalls of curcumin is that it’s not well absorbed in the body.
Piperine in Black Pepper
Black pepper contains the bioactive compound piperine, which is an alkaloid like capsaicin, the active component found in chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Piperine has been shown to help relieve nausea, headaches, and poor digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Still, its most significant benefit may be its ability to boost the absorption of curcumin.
Piperine Enhances the Absorption of Curcumin
Unfortunately, the curcumin in turmeric is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, you could be missing out on its advantages to health.
However, adding black pepper can help. Research supports that combining the piperine in black pepper with the curcumin in turmeric enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%.
One study showed that adding 20 mg of piperine to 2 grams of curcumin increased its absorption significantly.
There are currently two theories on how this works.
First, piperine makes it easier for curcumin to pass through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream.
Second, it may slow down the breakdown of curcumin by the liver, increasing its blood levels.
As a result, combining curcumin with piperine increases its potential health benefits.
The piperine found in black pepper enhances curcumin absorption, making it more readily available to be used by your body.
Fights Inflammation and Helps Reduce Pain
Turmeric’s curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
In fact, it’s so potent that some studies have shown it to match the power of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the negative side effects.
Studies also demonstrate that turmeric may play a role in preventing and treating arthritis, a disease characterized by joint inflammation and pain.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties are often praised for reducing pain and temporary discomfort.
Piperine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties as well. It helps desensitize a specific pain receptor in your body, which can further reduce feelings of discomfort.
When combined, curcumin and piperine are a powerful inflammation-fighting duo that can help reduce discomfort and pain.
Aids in Digestion
Indian medicine has relied on turmeric to help with digestion for thousands of years. Modern studies support its use, showing that it can help reduce gut spasms and flatulence.
Piperine has been shown to enhance the activity of digestive enzymes in the gut, which helps your body process food more quickly and easily.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of both turmeric and piperine may aid in reducing gut inflammation, which can help with digestion.