Why curcumin and black pepper are a match made in heaven

10 Jun 2023


You’ve probably consumed curcumin, but might not have realised. In its simplest form, it’s an active compound found in turmeric – the bright yellow spice used in curries.

And it turns out that it’s getting recognised for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help various other health conditions.1

How can curcumin help you?

As the main active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin can benefit your body in a number of ways.

Curcumin has helped people with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (enlarged prostate) by improving their urine stream and giving them a better quality of life.2 While further research found that this compound can hinder the development of BPH and reduce the effect of certain compounds that lead to prostate enlargement.3,4

Handpicked content: Can this spice support your prostate health?

There’s also been some evidence to suggest that curcumin could work to improve mood, boosting the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.5,6,7

What’s the ‘catch’?

While curcumin can potentially offer you all of these wonderful benefits, it doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream very well.

That’s where black pepper comes in.

What’s so special about black pepper mixed with curcumin?

Black pepper promotes curcumin absorption and helps to unleash its many health benefits.

It contains a compound called piperine, which inhibits the production of glucuronidation. In turn, this breaks down curcumin, allowing your body to take the highly-beneficial nutrients from it.8 Some research found that this natural substance found in black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.9

How to combine the two

There are a number of ways to combine curcumin and black pepper. For instance, many curries use this combination. So if you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, then you’re laughing.

Or for a more direct approach, taking supplements like bioperine – an alternative name for piperine – can help to improve the absorption of curcumin too.

Handpicked content: Rebel Recipes turmeric hummus

Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Shop our Vitamins and Supplements range. Sources
  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318405.php
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23241931
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22986049
  4. https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-015-0825-y
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23832433
  6. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-008-1300-y
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299905006230
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120