Why Turmeric and Black Pepper Is a Powerful Combination
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.
Key Active Ingredients
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
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.
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.
May Help Prevent Cancer
Curcumin shows promise in not only treating but even preventing cancer
Test-tube studies suggest that it can decrease cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. It could also contribute to the death of cancerous cells
Piperine seems to play a role in the death of certain cancer cells as well, which can decrease your risk of tumor formation, while other research indicates it, too, might inhibit the growth of cancerous cells
One study showed that curcumin and piperine, both separately and in combination, interrupted the self-renewal process of breast stem cells. This is important, as this process is where breast cancer originates
Further studies point to curcumin and piperine having protective effects against additional cancers, including prostate, pancreatic, colorecta