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Turmeric with Black Pepper

January 15, 2021
Benefits and Properties of turmeric with black pepper

Turmeric is a highly prized spice, both for its culinary value and for its incredible medicinal properties. It is a favorite roots in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, hence its therapeutic uses go back thousands of years. Scientific research has reported that the compound responsible for the benefits of turmeric is curcumin, a curcuminoid with great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential 1 ; however, it has also been observed that its bioavailability in the body is very low, and that therefore a strategy is needed to activate it.

In this article we explain why accompanying turmeric with pepper is the best option to take advantage of its properties, what are the main healthy benefits of this combination and what are the most recommended forms of consumption.

Turmeric’s Weakness: Its Low Bioavailability

When we say that turmeric , specifically curcumin, has “low bioavailability,” we mean that the body can only use a small part of the amount we consume . Its level of absorption in the body is very low, hence we cannot make the most of its healing properties .

See below: Benefits and Medicinal Properties of Turmeric (Scientific Findings)

For a nutrient to be absorbed into the body, it must pass through a membrane in the intestine to reach the bloodstream. If the molecules of that compound or nutrient are large, as in the case of curcumin, they will have a harder time crossing this barrier. Interestingly, it has been observed that piperine, a bioactive compound in black pepper , can relax the intestinal membrane and facilitate the passage of larger particles through it.2 3

Researchers have also observed that the effect of piperine on the liver may be another factor that improves curcumin absorption. As part of normal metabolism, the liver releases a substance called UDP-glucuronic acid, which has the ability to bind with other substances to make them more soluble in water and, therefore, facilitate their excretion outside the body (a process called glucuronidation).

With turmeric, this glucuronidation can occur too quickly, causing its compounds to be removed before the body can use them. Studies have found that piperine reduces the levels of UDP-glucuronic acid in the blood, and this in turn inhibits glucuronidation.4  In other words,piperine can decrease the hepatic metabolism of curcuminenough that our bodies absorb it more effectively.

In summary:

  • Piperine has a relaxing effect on the intestinal wall, allowing larger molecules, such as curcumin, to pass through and be absorbed.
  • Piperine can slow down the liver metabolism of curcumin enough for the body to absorb it efficiently.

After several studies, it has been concluded that taking turmeric with black pepper can improve curcumin absorption by up to 2,000% , and that only 20 mg of piperine is needed for every 2 grams of curcumin to obtain this effect.5

Properties of turmeric with black pepper

The combination of turmeric and pepper not only helps activate the bioavailability of curcumin to take better advantage of its properties, but also offers a set of benefits of its own. On the one hand, curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal action.6 ; and on the other hand, piperine has been shown to be effective in relieving nausea, headaches, indigestion and inflammatory processes.7

The main benefits attributed to consuming turmeric with black pepper include:

Reduction of inflammation and pain

Several studies have indicated that the anti-inflammatory power of curcumin is comparable to the effect of some steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with the advantage of not causing negative long-term side effects. For its part, piperine has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, as well as the ability to desensitize pain receptors in the body. The union of both spices helps to reduce the symptoms caused by inflammatory conditions, especially arthritis, a disease characterized by inflammation and pain in the joints.8 9 10

Cancer treatment and prevention

Scientists have reported that curcumin may be a promising treatment, not only for treating existing tumors, but for preventing the development of cancer in the future. Several studies suggest that it can slow the growth and spread of cancer at the molecular level, and that it could also contribute to the death of cancer cells, reducing the risk of new tumors.11 12 13

Research has shown that both curcumin and piperine (together and separately) are capable of disrupting the self-renewal process of breast stem cells, a process that gives rise to breast cancer.

Other studies indicate that curcumin and piperine may have protective effects against other types of cancer, including colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. 14 15

Improved digestive processes

Traditional Indian medicine has used turmeric as a remedy for digestive problems for thousands of years, and modern studies support its use, showing that it can help reduce intestinal spasms and flatulence. 16.

Also, both turmeric and piperine have been shown to improve the activity of digestive enzymes in the gut, helping the body process food more quickly. 17.

The anti-inflammatory properties of both spices also help prevent indigestion and discomfort caused by conditions such as gastritis or ulcers.

Increased fat burning

Taking turmeric with pepper can be a good strategy to accelerate fat burning and lose weight naturally, especially in people with obesity and metabolic syndrome. This combination has been shown to have a positive effect on pancreatic and liver cells, lowering insulin resistance and minimizing fat cell storage. This, together with the antioxidant power of the main active compounds, is also beneficial for controlling diabetes and preventing its possible complications.18 See; Turmeric for weight loss

How to take turmeric with black pepper

After knowing what the combination of turmeric with pepper is for, the most important thing is to know how it should be taken and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

In Indian culture, turmeric and black pepper are commonly consumed in the form of tea , often mixed with other ingredients, for example honey, ginger, lemon, olive oil, or coconut oil. This is an ideal variant to take in the morning or at night just before going to bed.

Note : Since curcumin is a fat soluble compound, consuming it with a source of fat will also help increase its absorption. 19.

To learn everything about turmeric infusions (recipes, additional ingredients, recommended dose… and more), visit Turmeric Tea .

Another of the most effective options to take advantage of the benefits of curcumin are supplements, especially turmeric and pepper capsules ( there is also turmeric extract with pepper ). Currently, these can be found in pharmacies, health food stores and online stores, such as Amazon. Dosage and directions may vary depending on the vendor, but generally 1-2 capsules should be taken daily, preferably with a meal containing fat (oils, avocado, nuts).

Recommendations to keep in mind when buying turmeric supplements with black pepper:

  • Select a premium quality product, whose concentration of curcuminoids is high (95% or more).
  • Buy capsules whose powder has been made with organic, Non-GMO turmeric tubers .
  • Don’t buy the cheapest product; cheap supplements are usually made from cheap raw materials.
  • Consult the opinions of other buyers before deciding on one supplement or another.

Some vendors offer capsules of turmeric with pepper and ginger , an excellent trio that works to fight pain and inflammation, strengthen the immune system, raise energy levels and promote natural fat burning.

In addition to turmeric capsules and black pepper infusions, a simple way to take both spices together is through food. The two spices can be included in the preparation of many dishes , ideally in soups, rice, fish, stews and stir-fries.

It may interest you: How to Take Turmeric? Forms of Consumption (Root, Tea, Supplements)

Contraindications and possible side effects

Although the maximum tolerable intake has not yet been identified, consumption of turmeric and pepper is considered safe for most people. However, their combination can cause side effects in some cases. If consumed in large doses, it can cause nausea, stomach cramps, headaches, and skin rashes. That is why it is recommended to always follow the instructions indicated by the seller on the supplement packaging.20 21

The Joint FAO / WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)22 has established that an acceptable dietary intake of curcumin is 1.4 mg per pound (3 mg / kg) of body weight, per day.

Taking into account that the use of turmeric may be contraindicated in certain people, we recommend that you continue reading about this topic in What Contraindications and Side Effects does Turmeric have?

In addition, people who are under medical treatment for a chronic health condition should not take turmeric with black pepper as a supplement without first consulting with their doctor.

Learn more about turmeric!



My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.