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Last modified on September 6th, 2021
What is BioPerine and why does it matter?
Something that we’re really focused on right now at The Top Supplements is bioavailability and not just choosing the most high-quality supplements but ensuring that they’re really being absorbed and used by our bodies for the full benefits.
So often, when we buy supplements, they can’t be used by our body, so we just eliminate them in our urine before they ever have the chance to make a positive impact on our health.
Luckily, there are ways to make supplements more bioavailable. One way is by taking them with BioPerine. You may have seen supplements like turmeric with BioPerine, and wondered exactly what it is.
We detail what you should know about BioPerine and its benefits to determine if you want to add it to your supplement routine.
What is BioPerine?
You probably know what black pepper is. It’s something we often use to season food. It’s also the ingredient used to make BioPerine.
BioPerine was originally created by the Sabinsa company, and it’s a patented extract from black pepper fruit. The bioactive ingredient in black pepper is called piperine. BioPerine is a standardized amount of black pepper, at a minimum of 95%.
While it has a name that references the patented version, BioPerine is a natural ingredient and is just a variation of black pepper.
When you taste the heat or spice of black pepper, it’s indicating the biological activity of the substance.
How Does BioPerine Work?
BioPerine again, contains 95% pipereine. It’s the only product sourced from piperine that is patented. BioPerine is also the only type of piperine that’s undergone clinical studies to ensure it’s both safe and effective.
BioPerine works the way it does because it starts a metabolic process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is something you may have heard in reference to weight loss, but it’s also part of how we absorb the nutrients and vitamins from the food and supplements we have on a daily basis.
Basically, thermogenesis can start the processes of digestion and then gastrointestinal absorption.
Piperine, when in the patented form of BioPerine, helps improve your body’s own thermogenic activity.
The thermogenic activity then creates a more efficient way for nutrients to be delivered into your blood and transported across your body.
The patent status of BioPerine is dependent on its ability to increase the bioavailability of nutrients and compounds.
Bioavailability is another important term to consider here. Bioavailability means the amount of a substance of any kind that reaches the targeted cells and then changes, whether for good or bad, their metabolism.
In shorter terms, bioavailability is a term to describe the ability of a supplement or nutrient to reach your cells and have the benefit you’re hoping it will.
If a substance were to be administered directly into your bloodstream, it would be the most bioavailable. This is what happens when you get a vitamin drip, for example.
When you take something orally, while it’s easier and cheaper, a lot of what you’re consuming is destroyed by your stomach acid before it reaches your bloodstream. Also, GI disorders and inflammation can affect how much your body can absorb.
BioPerine can help with absorption so that the supplements you take are going to the most effective, and you get more benefits without having to take excessively high doses.
What Is the Difference Between Piperine and BioPerine?
We’re using the terms piperine and BioPerine interchangeably throughout this guide, but there are some differences.
Yes, BioPerine is a piperine extract. Piperine is the active ingredient in black pepper.
However, the bioavailability of piperine in standard black pepper isn’t as high as in BioPerine.
You would have to consume a lot of black pepper to get the same effects as you can with BioPerine since it is standardized for effectiveness. You couldn’t take a few sprinkles of black pepper with your supplements and expect the same benefits as you would with BioPerine. Plus, black pepper would be hard to handle in large amounts.
BioPerine is a concentrated, pure form of piperine from black pepper.
The FDA describes BioPerine as a generally safe supplement, and it does have a lot of research backing it up.
Other BioPerine Benefits
BioPerine or black pepper, in general, can have health benefits even outside of helping promote better nutrient absorption. For example, historically black pepper has been used as a treatment for upset stomach or gastrointestinal symptoms.
Some other benefits of BioPerine include:
- It may help modulate the immune system so it neither over-or under-acts. There was a study, for example, in 2010 that found BioPerine might reduce inflammation and can weaken certain overactive immune responses.
- Piperine is thought to help serotonin and beta-endorphin levels in the brain. When you have higher levels of these brain chemicals, it may improve mood and memory.
- BioPerine can also potentially help improve attention, reasoning, and motivation levels. Basically it might give you an added bit of motivation especially if you’ve been feeling sluggish. Some people find BioPerine helps them be more productive.
- Black pepper extracts are high in antioxidants that can prevent free radical damage.
- There have been some studies finding that black pepper extract is good to help control high blood sugar, and it may be a helpful supplement on its own for the management of type 2 diabetes.
- Piperine is often linked to improved heart health in studies and reduced cholesterol levels.
- Some research has found piperine might have anti-cancer properties.
Why Is Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine Such a Popular Combination?
One of the supplements you’ll most frequently see along with BioPerine is turmeric or curcumin. Turmeric is a spice that has a number of potential health benefits, and it works especially well or synergistically with black pepper.
One of the biggest problems with the miracle that is curcumin is that your body can’t absorb it well.
Adding piperine with the curcumin found in turmeric can enhance absorption by up to 2,000%.
There are a few mechanisms of action that may allow this to happen.
First, when you add piperine to curcumin, it allows it to more easily pass through your intestinal wall, where it can then make its way to your bloodstream.
Taking BioPerine with curcumin may also slow down how quickly the curcumin is broken down by the liver, so it increases your blood levels.
The benefits of both curcumin from turmeric and piperine also work well with one another. For example, they both have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce pain. Both also have potential anti-cancer properties, and both boost healthy digestion.
What Ingredients Does BioPerine Work With?
Along with curcumin from turmeric, there are a number of other ingredients BioPerine is thought to work well with.
- CoQ10: Studies have found the bioavailability of coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 was improved with BioPerine. After 21 days of taking the supplements, study participants were found to have a significant increase in their serum CoQ10 levels compared to the control group. In fact, it was a 30% increase.
- Iron: A few studies have been done that have found taking BioPerine can help with the bioavailability of elemental iron. In an animal study, the group taking BioPerine had significantly higher serum iron concentrations.
- Resveratrol: This antioxidant has powerful benefits, including potential anti-cancer properties, but as is the case with many other similar supplements, it’s typically not very bioavailable. Taking BioPerine with resveratrol increased bioavailability by nearly 229%. It also increased maximum serum concentrations of resveratrol by 1544%.
- B6: Vitamin B6 levels were higher in one study when participants received BioPerine as compared to a group that didn’t.
While there’s less definitive research, there are a number of other substances that likely have benefits when used with BioPerine. Herbal extracts like ashwagandha and Boswellia can be taken with BioPerine, as can water-soluble vitamins include B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin C.
Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D and E can be enhanced with BioPerine, as well as amino acids and minerals like magnesium.
Does BioPerine Have Any Side Effects?
Overall, BioPerine is a supplement that has a lot of clinical studies to back up its safety and effectiveness. Still, any time you take a supplement, you should speak to your doctor first.
Piperine can also interact with some medicines and may have anti-platelet effects. If you take higher than recommended doses you might experience gastrointestinal upset or bleeding, but this is rare and again usually would only happen with a very high dose.
How Do You Take BioPerine?
If you’re interested in taking BioPerine to enhance your absorption of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements, you have a couple of different options.
First, you can choose supplements that have it added in, which you’ll often see with turmeric supplements.
Another option is to have a separate BioPerine supplement, which you can buy on Amazon. Then, whenever you take a supplement, you can add a dose of BioPerine.
There are two main brands of standalone BioPerine on Amazon, both of which are cheap and highly-rated.
There’s Carlyle Bioperine, which features a 10-milligram dose of non-GMO black pepper extract. Swanson also has a Bioperine product, but it’s not Prime shipping.
Other Ways to Make Your Supplements More Effective
Along with taking BioPerine, there are some other things you can do to increase the absorption and effectiveness of your supplements.
- First, you should always choose the most absorbable form. For example, if you were going to take a fish oil supplement to get omega 3 fatty acids, the best type is krill oil. It has phospholipids, which are very bioavailable.
- With curcumin, the most absorbable type is called Theracurmin, which is broken down into tiny particles.
- You may have to do some research on different supplements you plan to take to figure out the best type for bioavailability.
- If you’re taking fat-soluble vitamins, you should have them with food that has fat. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K.
- Iron, on the other hand, is something you should take with an empty stomach, and you should pair it with vitamin C for the best absorption.
- Water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins like folate, niacin, biotin, and B12. They are excreted in the urine so they don’t build up in your body like fat-soluble vitamins do.
- Our personal preference for supplements, whenever possible, is to choose a liquid version. If you take a supplement or vitamin as a capsule or tablet, your body has to break it down before it can absorb it, but with a liquid, your body doesn’t have to do that.
- Some vitamins and nutrients can work against each other, while others work with each other. For example, taking vitamins D, K and calcium together is a good idea. Zinc and copper compete with each other, on the other hand, so you might want to take them separately. Don’t take calcium with iron because it competes with the same receptors. Taking calcium with iron can block the absorption of one or both nutrients.
- Making sure your digestive system is in good shape can also help you get the most not just from your supplements but also from the foods you eat. For example, you might consider taking a combination of pre-and probiotics and well as digestive enzymes. They help you break down what you eat so that it’s better absorbed in the small intestine.
BioPerine Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we briefly answer some of the common questions you may have about BioPerine.
What is BioPerine?
So just what is BioPerine?
BioPerine is perine. Perine is an extract from commonly used black pepper. BioPerine is a trade name of this extract. It’s used to help improve the bioavailability of supplements. For example, adding BioPerine to vitamin C can increase bioavailability by as much as 52%.
BioPerine works through what’s called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is part of digestion. Your body has a higher amount of thermal energy with BioPerine, and that then increases your metabolism and your body’s demand for nutrients. That means your body will absorb more of those nutrients it feels it needs.
What is BioPerine Used For?
BioPerine is used along with nutrients and supplements to increase how much of them your body can absorb and use. BioPerine also has some health benefits of its own, such as helping with gastrointestinal symptoms.
You may wonder why you can’t just take black pepper with supplements, but BioPerine is a specifically formulated version of black pepper extract that’s standardized to be much more potent.
You would have to take an uncomfortable and potentially unsafe amount of black pepper to get the same benefits as a dose of BioPerine.
What Does BioPerine Do?
BioPerine jumpstarts a process called thermogenesis, which makes your body demand more of the nutrients or supplements you’re taking at that time. Then you absorb more of said nutrient, rather than having your body eliminate what it thinks it doesn’t need.
Some of the supplements BioPerine works synergistically with include curcumin, Boswellia, ashwagandha, vitamin C and resveratrol.
How Much BioPerine Should I Take?
When you get a BioPerine product, read the instructions and follow those. Typically, however, the recommended dosage or amount of BioPerine you should take is 5 milligrams.
If you really want to get the most out of supplements you take, and especially powerful but poorly absorbed options like curcumin, we definitely recommend talking to your doctor about taking BioPerine. BioPerine is the best way to absorb the most out of all the supplements you take, plus it has its own health benefits as well.