Black Pepper: Overview of Health Benefits : Nutrition Today

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Food Science

Black Pepper

Overview of Health Benefits

Singletary, Keith PhD

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Nutrition Today 45(1):p 43-47, January 2010. | DOI: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181cb4539

The black pepper (Piper nigrum L) vine and its extracts have been used as a folk medicine in a variety of cultures and are the source of the most commonly used spice worldwide. The chemical piperine is a major bioactive component present in black pepper (and white pepper as well) that has numerous reported physiological and drug-like actions. The scientific literature provides evidence that black pepper may have health benefits, particularly in enhancing digestive tract function. There is suggestive evidence that black pepper piperine may have nervous system benefits and may influence body energy usage in rats. Preliminary evidence in cell culture studies suggests that black pepper contains antioxidant constituents and possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. An overview of major uses for black pepper is presented here, and the strength of the evidence is graded

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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