Black Pepper – Antioxidant, Anti-Cancer Superspice
Black pepper comes from fruit vines native to southern India and Sri Lanka. White pepper is also made from this fruit but is processed differently. Used almost universally, black pepper is one of the most common spices in the entire world and stands out in most curry recipes. It is also often included in Ayurvedic recipes and other traditional health practitioners. The spicy smell of black pepper is due to the most important and well-studied phytochemicals and piperine.
Thanks to its many constituent compounds such as eugenol, kaempferol, myrcene, quercetin, and regular black pepper are antioxidants that are far more effective than many fruits and vegetables.
Besides that, it contains a unique compound, piperine, which can increase the bioavailability of important nutritional compounds in foods and other spices.
Medicinal properties of black pepper
By increasing the bioavailability of other anti-tumourigenic spices, black pepper dramatically increases its potential and effectiveness against cancer. In addition to this important property, black pepper also counteracts the development of cancer directly. The main phytochemicals, piperine, inhibit some pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by tumor cells. In doing so, it interferes with the signaling mechanism between cancer cells, thereby reducing the possibility of tumor development. Collectively, these properties make black pepper one of the most important herbs to prevent cancer.
Black pepper contains several powerful antioxidants and is one of the most important ingredients to prevent and limit oxidative stress. In addition to their direct antioxidant properties, some of these compounds work indirectly by increasing the activity of other antioxidants. This makes black pepper valuable in minimizing damage caused by a diet rich in saturated fat, one of the main causes of oxidative stress.
The high cholesterol and triglyceride levels associated with oxidative stress inhibit the effectiveness of essential antioxidants such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, vitamin C and vitamin E. However, in the face of this potentially damaging process, black pepper maintains and increases levels and the efficacy of this important antioxidant compound.
Black peppers show immunomodulatory properties and can increase the amount and efficacy of white cells, thus helping the body to install strong defenses against an invasion of microbes and cancer cells.
Piperine increases the bioavailability of valuable phytochemicals in other spices and can increase the activity of biochemically active compounds contained in green tea, curcumin and various other spices up to several hundred percents, depending on the molecule in question. This is done through two primary mechanisms. First, it promotes the rapid absorption of certain chemicals from the digestive tract, protecting them from being damaged by chemicals in the intestinal lumen and by enzymes that occur in the cells that line the intestine. Second, after the compound has entered the bloodstream, piperine protects against oxidative damage by liver enzymes. In this way black pepper allows us to get the optimal benefits from the medicinal phytochemicals found in other food seasonings.
Its improved bioavailability makes black pepper one of the most critical ingredients. It must be added to recipes and food as often as possible because it increases the medicinal value of many spices and other foods.