Ground from the dried peppercorns of the Piper nigrum vine, Black pepper or otherwise known as ‘kali mirch’ in India, is one of the most commonly used spices all over the world today. Its ability to flavour foods, act as a preservative and add heat and taste to a dish has made this flavourful spice a cherished and sought-after spice throughout history, earning itself the name, “king of spices” and “black gold”.
However, apart from its sharp and mildly spicy flavour, which is perfect for flavouring foods, black pepper is way more than just a kitchen staple. For thousands of years, this spice has been a vital part of traditional medicine in ancient Ayurveda, with usage ranging from treating menstrual problems to ear, nose, and throat disorders. On that note, present-day studies have now confirmed that the potent alkaloid compound of the spice, piperine, has been known to possess many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects and potential cancer-fighting properties. In this article, we discuss the many health benefits of black pepper, especially with regard to lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart health. So read on to find out all there is to know about it.
Black Pepper for Cholesterol and Heart Health
Black pepper is home to a variety of active compounds like tannins, terpenes, oleoresins and alkaloids like piperine and chavicine. On top of this, it also possesses antioxidants, flavonoids, essential oil and other phenolic compounds essential for health. This makes black pepper a great health booster.
That said, when it comes to cholesterol levels, studies have shown that the potent compound, piperine, has demonstrated promising results when it comes to lowering bad LDL levels. High blood cholesterol has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, and black pepper may just be the answer to reducing heart disease risk. Several studies using black pepper extract have shown a significant reduction in cholesterol uptake by internalizing the cholesterol transporter proteins. The studies further demonstrated an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol among the subjects while simultaneously lowering blood cholesterol levels, including triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.
On top of this, black pepper’s rich antioxidant nature – all thanks to the plant compound, piperine – may also be beneficial in preventing or delaying the damaging effects of excess free radicals, which may lead to major health problems, including inflammation and heart disease. In this way, black pepper helps improve heart health, enhances its functioning and protects from the risk of heart disease.
Black Pepper and Curcumin
It has been known that black pepper and piperine help in boosting the absorption level of certain dietary supplements that possess potential cholesterol-lowering effects like turmeric or curcumin extract. In fact, studies have shown that black pepper increases the absorption level of curcumin, the potent extract of turmeric, by up to 2,000%!
Keeping this in mind, Preserva’s curcumin-based CHOLESTOBLAST CAPSULES is enriched with the goodness of Black pepper with Bioperine to help boost the absorption of Curcumin, thereby offering the perfect natural formulation for lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of cancer. This Ayurvedic-based supplement can help reduce the risk of plaque buildup due to high cholesterol and in turn, lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke and other types of heart disease.
They also help in purifying blood, lowering blood pressure and assisting in problems relating to high eosinophil count which are white blood cells indicating infection or inflammation. The capsules also increase immunity and the body’s ability to fight infections because of the combination of Curcumin and black pepper, which are rich sources of antioxidants, anti-allergic and natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Benefits of Black Pepper
Besides its incredible taste-enhancing flavour and cholesterol-lowering benefits, black pepper is also endowed with a wide variety of powerful plant compounds and nutrients essential for enhancing health and wellness. Here are some of the other benefits of black pepper that everyone should know:
1. An excellent source of antioxidants
Black pepper’s high antioxidant properties help in fighting free radicals that can cause serious health issues such as inflammatory diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, as well as certain cancers.
2. A natural anti-inflammatory
Several studies have shown that piperine in black pepper possesses anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial in reducing inflammation or even chronic inflammation that people with metabolic syndrome experience.
3. Promotes gut health
There has been quite a handful of evidence suggesting that black pepper works its way in increasing the good bacteria in the gut, thereby improving not just digestion but also immune function, mood and more.
4. Helps relieve pain
Black pepper’s pain-relieving benefits have been known for hundreds of years. Its anti-inflammatory properties are the reason behind this benefit.
5. Helps suppress appetite
Studies have shown that drinking a black pepper-based beverage may help suppress appetite, which may help promote healthy weight management.
6. Increases the release of toxins
Black pepper benefits also include improving and increasing the release of toxins from your body by increasing the rate of sweating and urination.
7. Possesses antibacterial properties
Several studies are suggesting that black pepper’s antibacterial properties may have great potential in future therapies against both infectious diseases and foodborne pathogens.
8. May also contain some anti-cancer properties
It has been suggested that piperine in black pepper may also be endowed with certain anti-cancer properties. Although more studies are still required, several studies have suggested that piperine may also be beneficial in suppressing cancer cell growth in breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
9. Helps control blood sugar levels
A 2013 study on the effects of a bioactive ingredients-based supplement (like piperine) on insulin resistance showed quite a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity among the participants. By this, it means that the hormone insulin was better able to regulate the uptake of glucose.
10. Enhances brain function
Several studies have suggested that piperine in the spice may have brain-boosting properties, which may be beneficial in treating symptoms linked with degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
The Bottom Line
The bold spicy flavour of black pepper has now become a staple part of many dishes all over the world. But beyond its culinary uses, this versatile spice has been one of the primary ingredients in folk and traditional systems of medicine for thousands of years. And with more studies being conducted, the health benefits of black pepper are now being recognised and appreciated by more and more health enthusiasts worldwide. From improving cholesterol levels to controlling blood sugar to boosting brain and gut health, its health benefits are something to marvel upon. Nonetheless, this versatile flavour enhancer is worth adding to your daily cooking routine, as its bold flavour is a great addition to almost any dish.