15 Health Benefits Of
Biohacking Your Diet
Backed By Science
A Complete Guide To The Nutrients & Health Benefits
Of Black Pepper
Everything you need to know
If you've been hearing some pretty interesting things about the health benefits of black pepper and want to know more then this complete guide is perfect for you.
People have been using black pepper as a tasty seasoning for their food for centuries, but as it turns out, there are actually some really impressive properties in black pepper that can be very good for your health.
Tiny & mighty
This spicy little fruit is so popular in the west, yet not very often discussed, so this complete guide to black pepper should get the ball rolling.
What is black pepper?
Don't worry, you're in the right place. To find out "what is black pepper" and how it might benefit you to get some in your diet please keep reading...
What Is Black Pepper?
Biohacking Your Diet With Black Pepper
A Closer Look
So, What Is Black Pepper Then?
Black paper is one of the most popular spices in the world. It is commonly referred to as 'the king of spices' due to its popularity.
A pinch of black paper is added to almost every imaginable recipe due to its remarkable pungent flavor.
Where Does It Come From?
Black pepper is the fruit of a pepper plant that comes from the Piperaceae family and is native to a southern state of India called Kerala.
Is It Just A Spice?
The pepper is not only used as a spice but also as medicine. It has a chemical known as piperine which is responsible for its spiciness.
The black pepper plant bears clustered flowers after three to four years which are small and white.
The flowers then develop into berries called peppercorns.
The peppercorn is then grounded into a fine powder called black pepper which is used in flavoring food and also used because of its medical properties.
What Does All This Mean?
Peppercorns are a berry and are used in herbal medicines as well as food.
What Are The Health Benefits of Black Pepper?
As we discussed in the opening paragraph, black pepper is starting to gain popularity for its many popularized and recently publicized healthy aspects. Chances are if you're reading this it's because someone has told you about how amazing this tiny little berry can be in boosting your health and biohacking your diet.
Pepper piper perfect
It has a variety of valuable properties, but its much-touted constituent piperine is the super-powered compound that seems to be responsible for many of its inherently healthful properties.
So, let's jump into it and take a look that the power of black pepper and piperine, the 15 health benefits according to science.
Black pepper health benefits may include:
1. Younger Skin
Black Pepper helps in Improving the health of the skin. Not only can the consumption of black pepper lead to more youthful skin it can also act as a conditional cell-improving remedy for people with certain conditions.
In a study cited below, it appears that black pepper's piperine promotes melanocyte proliferation in the skin which has many possible promising applications.
Some biohackers use black pepper as an anti-aging biohack and take it regularly with food or in supplemental piperine form to control the dosages.
Vitiligo is a skin disease that can lead to loss of normal pigmentation causing white skin patches on the affected areas. Black pepper helps to cure vitiligo and restore normal skin pigmentation. The chemical piperine, found in black pepper, stimulates the production of skin pigments. (1)
It may be superior to pharmaceuticals
Ultraviolet light therapy combined with topical application of piperine is much better and safer than the chemically-based vitiligo treatment options.
Piperine topical treatment also limits the exposure to ultraviolet rays thereby reducing the chances of getting skin cancer.
2. Fighting Infection
Black Pepper has some useful antibacterial properties. The vitamin C content of the pepper is responsible for its antibacterial properties.
This property helps the body to augment its fight against common bacterial infections and possibly even insect bites. Vitamin C has been shown to not only reduce infection and fight the onset of infection-related illness it has been observed to reduce integrated morbidity. (2)
At 21 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams, black pepper can contribute to a nutritional-based approach to consuming enough of this beneficial vitamin in addition to other foods.
More than just a spice
One of the most impressive features of black pepper is its ability to confer multiple health benefits. If we're being honest, most people are using it purely as a flavoring agent for their food and that's where it ends for the vast majority of consumers.
The truth is that bumping up your consumption a little may have marked effects as you can access the full power of the compound piperine and all of the benefits listed above and below.
3. Burning Fat Stores
Biohacking Your Fat
Burn fat with piperine
Black pepper may actually assist in weight loss.
Peppercorn, specifically its outer layers, enhance the breakdown of adipose cells (fat cells) in the body. The then broken down adipose cell becomes prone to transposition and therefore, gets a little more easily processed.
Decreasing stored body fat
In a study commissioned on mus musculus, piperine was found to decrease body weight, and fat composition, downregulate mRNA associated with ATE in white adipose tissue, as well as being more effective in visceral fat in regulating lipometabolic genes. (3)
Combining an increase in black pepper consumption with an increase in good fats while keeping calories the same may have extra benefits in weight control and fat mobilization..
Though the fat-burning benefits of black pepper are not necessarily huge, combined with a diet that is designed to lose weight such as an adequate protein and healthy fat consumption lifestyle, it really can all add up.
4. Respiratory Aid
May ease coughs and respiratory ailments
According to research, black pepper might be able to provide some assistance for those who need respiratory relief. The amide alkaloids and pipernigramides found in Piper Nigrum (black pepper) may play a role in helping to break down phlegm as well as producing counter-inflammatory effects. (5)
In traditional medicine
Black pepper is added to tonics in Ayurvedic practices to treat common colds and coughs. It is also used to relieve nasal congestion and sinusitis.
Respiratory illnesses can cause much discomfort, increase the chances of headaches, and contribute to an inability to get adequate sleep.
As mentioned above, black pepper has expectorant properties which help in breaking phlegm depositions and mucus in the respiratory tract.
The pepper is also a natural irritant causing you to sneeze and cough which in turn expels the loosened unwanted materials out of the respiratory tract. Not that extra sneezing during a cold or bout of influenza would be particularly remedial.
5. Nutritional Absorption Support
Improving bioavailability in foods
Black pepper may help by enhancing the bioavailability of important nutritional compounds in many foods. There's a great postpositively used redux of the saying "you are what you eat" which goes "you are NOT what you eat, you are what you absorb".
It's an important distinction to make that consuming nutrients and absorbing them are not necessarily the exact same thing. Bioavailability refers to how easy it is for nutrients to be processed with something considered exceptionally bioavailable to be very easy to process.
Procuring the benefits of low bioavailability foods
Some foods are very low in bioavailability such as the absolutely amazing compound curcumin which is found in the legitimate superfood turmeric.
As mentioned above, black pepper contains piperine, which can help the body process such things as curcumin, a key ingredient in turmeric, a very popular medicinal food.
It may also help to absorb and process key nutrients such as beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), selenium, and both vitamin B and vitamin C. It's so effective that it may be used to provide an optimized delivery system for some cancer-fighting pharmaceutical medications. (6)
Boosting stilbenoid processing
Many anti-aging biohacking enthusiasts take resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) supplements which can be expensive and have a moderately low bioavailability. Consuming black pepper or its constituent piperine has been shown to improve the synthesis of resveratrol.
With this evidence, it may be wise to take certain nutritional supplements at the same time as having meals with black pepper added or possibly a piperine supplement.
6. Mental Clarity
Biohacking Your Brain
Black pepper may assist with both cognitive and neurological health improvement.
Several studies have proven that piperine helps to reduce cognitive malfunctions and memory impairments.
It stimulates brain chemical pathways and can therefore help to reduce stress and benefit people that are suffering from elevated stress levels, depression, and possibly even Alzheimer's disease. (7)
Sparring free radicals
The neutralization of free radicals as earlier stated can also help to reduce dementia and other aging symptoms such as degeneration of muscles and wrinkles.
Because of this, taking black pepper might help to give you a better memory and assist in reducing intellectual degradation. Time to start spicing up your meals for some much-needed cognitive augmentation.
Powerful brain food
A recent article published here on Improve Evolve was the guide 15 science-backed brain foods and although black pepper could easily have made the list, It was decided it was worthy of its own article being that it possesses multivarious beneficial properties.
7. Microbiome Support
Black pepper may play a role in enhancing digestion and food metabolism which may be great news for those wishing to improve the "center of health" in their stomach microbiome.
Black pepper helps aid in the digestive process by increasing the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Enhanced digestion leads to better food metabolism in the body. Better still, proper digestion helps to prevent stomach-related problems such as constipation and diarrhea. (8)
Relieving gaseous issues
Black pepper also has carminative properties that help in treating flatulence by inhibiting bacterial growth which may also reduce abdominal bloating and some associated issues for sufferers of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It also has purgative properties, that is, it cleanses the intestines and protects the digestive and excretory systems from infections which may help to prevent such illnesses as colon cancer.
Piperine also possesses mild laxative properties.
So, if you're looking to boost your stomach health, adding black pepper or piperine to your diet could be of great benefit.
8. Fighting Free Radical Damage
Protecting from damage
Black Pepper has healthful antioxidant properties.
Another benevolent aspect of black pepper is that it can either prevent or repair the damages caused by free radicals in the body.
The free radicals are produced as byproducts during cell metabolism. They then attack healthy cells in the body causing their DNA to sometimes undergo dangerous mutations and transforming them into cancerous cells that can further metastasize surrounding tissue.
Studies in vitro
Studies observing in vitro piperine show that it may help fight reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radicals. (9)
Another study shows piperine improves the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of thymoquinone against microcystin-lr-induced hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity. (10)
Black pepper might possibly prevent several conditions from affecting the body such as liver problems, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer by neutralizing these antioxidant byproducts.
9. Removing Toxins
Black pepper may have diaphoretic and diuretic properties that help to remove toxins from the body. The build-up of toxins in one's constitution can lead to many health issues including disease, poisoning, and in extreme cases, death.
In the biohacking community, we treat toxins very seriously given that we live in a world full of not only air pollutants but dangerous endocrine disruptors sprayed on our food and the never-ending proliferation of plastic packaging leading to heretofore unseen levels of microplastic exposure.
In the comprehensive guide, what is biohacking? serious consideration is given to the need to control one's exposure to environmental toxins.
Avoiding toxins is more important than many people think.
So powerful are black pepper's pleiotropic properties that studies show it may have serious positive implications in disease prevention and management. (11)
Consuming black pepper can help to stimulate sweating and urination. These processes help the body to push out excess toxins, excess salts, and uric acid.
It also has diuretic properties that help in reducing inflammation and may help release subcutaneous water that appears to be body fat.
10. Blood Pressure & Circulation
Beneficial brain boon
Black pepper might help with regulating blood pressure.
Blood pressure issues have been known to be a very serious health concern with the risks associated with high blood pressure being arterial damage, heart attacks, and possible heart failure. (12)
The black pepper contains potassium which may in some cases counter the harmful effects of excess sodium and this electrolyte modulation may assist in keeping your blood pressure healthy and under check.
It also improves blood circulation and in addition to its antioxidant benefits, the piperine in black pepper is anticonvulsant and may even be larvicidal in nature. (13)
Benefits of optimal blood circulation
Some of the benefits of improved blood circulation may include improved cellular renewal, lowered risk of stroke, a lower instance of heart-related issues, and even better skin.
11. Healthy Teeth
Avoiding the artificial
Black Pepper could potentially help those for whom a natural approach to dental health is important.
Black pepper supports dental hygiene, improving your dental health by fighting tooth decay, and can also serve as a mild mitigator of pain by quickly relieving toothache.
The antibacterial properties might assist with reducing harmful mouth bacteria. Keeping the mouth bacteria-free and clean can help to maintain teeth health.
In a natural toothpaste
Many biohackers refuse to use store-bought toothpaste as they may be full of filler chemicals and the dangerous endocrine disruptors you'll see me lambast on a regular basis if you're a regular reader.
A popular natural toothpaste biohack is to mix powdered charcoal, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper with water and macadamia oil. This mix has powerful antibacterial properties that can leave your breath much fresher than store-bought commercial varieties and can help whiten your teeth as well.
12. Nutritional Support
Natural Mini Multivitamin
Black pepper also contains essential nutrients needed by the body for example potassium, manganese, calcium, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It is also a good source of copper and chromium.
Black pepper contains 2 percent of the dietary requirement of vitamin C.
It has 3 percent of the R.D.I of calcium and has 10 percent of the R.D.I of iron in addition to the above-mentioned copper and chromium. This may be a good enough reason for vegetarians to eat a lot more peppery foods if they are aiming for natural plant-based iron sources.
The protein content of black pepper is pretty low though at just 0.7 grams. Black pepper, however, has no fats and zero cholesterol. I'm certainly not anti-fat but some misinformed people measure fat by the milligram, so, the information is out there if they need it.
What Does This Mean?
Let's be real, most people aren't going to eat a lot of black pepper, but if you do, there is some solid nutrition there.
Many pharmaceutical cancer treatments are effective, there's no denying this whether you're for or against big pharma, just like there's no denying many treatments come with a whole slew of side effects that appear to be of imminent concern.
One of the pressing issues with pharmacological drugs is chemoresistance where the treatment simply doesn't take and this can be doubly problematic when the side effects are prominent.
Natural alternatives absolutely have a place in the big picture of disease prevention and cure but only so long as they are proven safe and efficacious.
Assisting the cure
According to studies, Piper Nigrum (black pepper) may have chemosensitizing effects that help to augment and assist in the delivery and efficacy of prescribed pharmaceutical remedies. (14)
An exciting development in the study of one of Piper Nigrum's chemical constituents, a promising new compound called pellitorine showed strong anti-cancer potential when it was discovered to be cytotoxic activities against tumorous HL60 and MCT-7 cell lines. (15)
In addition to the cited pellitorine compound, there were 2 new alkaloids (E)-1-[3',4'-(methylenedioxy) cinnamoyl]piperidine and 2,4-tetradecadienoic acid isobutyl amide that are currently being studied for their potential cancer-fighting capabilities.
14. Fighting Food Allergies
Food allergy sufferers know the pain and despair of not only being excluded from the consumption of many tasty and nutritious foods but also the very real danger that an allergic reaction can pose.
Reaction to allergenic food particles can result in itches, welts, swelling, difficulty breathing, and in extreme cases, death. It's an omnipresent concern for many ordinary folks
Promising studies on black pepper are showing some potentially exciting feedback in the area of controlling ovalbumin (OVA)-induced food allergies which may result in better moods, improved sleep, and many more health benefits.
Recent study findings
In a 2021 study of Piper Nigrum (black pepper), it was shown that inflammatory Th2 and Th17 cell-associated cytokines were actually measurably down-regulated by the extract of Piper Nigrum (PNE). (16)
This modification of the Th2 cell response means there is a potential allergy attenuation property in the black pepper extract that could help those with OVA-induced food allergies.
15. Stopping Smoking
Help To Quit
Okay, so, you're reading a page on a biohacking website written by some biohacking guy who takes health pretty seriously. I'd be remiss if I didn't immediately implore you to do everything you can to quit smoking immediately.
Maybe one of our regular readers might heed my advice but let's be honest, quitting smoking comes from an internal decision metric and very rarely from advice.
That being said, if you're looking to quit, every little thing that helps could be a step or possible first step in reclaiming your health and starting a path towards improving yourself (and your financial situation - cigarettes are not cheap).
There is this really interesting property of black pepper oil in that when inhaled through whatever means of dispersion you have (diffuser, electronic cigarette), the oil vapor can replicate the sensation of cigarette smoke in both taste and mouth feel.
The beauty of this is that not only is black pepper oil sans harmful chemicals like polonium, and tar, but is nicotine-free for those who need to avoid stimulants and it actually has properties that may enhance your respiratory system as opposed to degrading it.
Studies show effectiveness
In a clinical trial of 48 smokers using black pepper essential oil, the use of said cigarette alternative was shown to be an effective smoking substitute. (17)
Many people are taking to smoking black pepper oil in E-cigs and report having great success with using it as a viable smoking alternative.
Getting The Best Black Pepper
Maximizing The Benefits
Purchase and storage
In order to enjoy these health benefits and also get the important nutrients, you need to know how to buy and store the pepper (yes it sounds like child's play).
It is advisable to buy whole peppercorns rather than pepper powder. This is because the preground pepper powder often contains other added spices thereby adulterating the original spice and in addition to this, powered black pepper may oxidize slightly faster.
There's also the chance the out layer of the peppercorn is removed which may lead to many important healthful compounds not being present.
Another advantage of peppercorns is that they retain their freshness indefinitely while pepper powder retains the freshness for about 3 months. The taste of a freshly cracked peppercorn is far and away superior to stale powdered pepper, too.
Storing black pepper
As for the storage, peppercorns are better stored at room temperature.
They can be stored for many years and simply hand-milled when required for use. Powdered pepper on the hand is better stored using airtight containers in refrigerators.
15 Health Benefits Of Black Pepper
The final verdict
There we have it. 15 amazingly beneficial uses for something as simple as good old common black pepper.
Hopefully, you've taken a look at these 15 health benefits of black pepper and decided to add a little extra to your diet.
Things to remember
Piperine is responsible for many of the health benefits associated with black pepper but it's important to note that some of the most important healthful properties were present in the skin or the center of this spicy berry.
If you're looking to maximize the benefits of black pepper then it's important that you store them properly and preferably purchase the whole peppercorns and grind them yourself.
The last word
If you're looking to boost your diet with piperine for its own exceptional properties or just to improve nutritional retention from substances like curcumin found in turmeric, then you can buy piperine supplements that can simply be taken with the nutritional compounds you'd like to augment the absorption of.
If you're like me, then you're lucky in that you prefer a pretty decent amount of black pepper on everything savory that you eat. It's a great way to add a tiny bit more nutrition to your everyday diet.
The information contained in this article is offered for informational purposes only. This information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or treating ailments and should you wish to seek such advice, please contact an appropriate medical professional.
15 Health Benefits Of Black Pepper
Backed By Science
By AJ James
Biohacker & Founder
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