Friday, February 10, 2006

Piperine: Uses & Effects

In appropriate doses, piperine may be useful in increasing the bioavailability of some drugs and nutrients. Scientific research has yielded preliminary evidence which suggest that piperine may aid in the digestion of food.

The substance may also have some anticonvulsant, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, there is also evidence that shows that it might be carcinogenic and cytotoxic in some circumstances and that it might interfere with reproductive processes and have negative effects on sperm.

In mice given high doses of piperine, for example, decreased mating performance, decreased fertility and anti-implantation activity - along with some other adverse reproductive events - were observed.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should generally avoid piperine supplements. Piperine, at doses generally higher than 15 mg daily, may affect the metabolism of a wide range of drugs and xenobiotics.

Piperine may form mutagenic, and possibly carcinogenic, substances with nitrites. People who eat processed food containing nitrites and nitrates as food preservatives should exercise caution in the use of piperine supplements.

(Source: PDR Health, http://www.pdrhealth.com)

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