Turmeric has a fascinating history in Ayurvedic medicine (1), and the modern health and wellness industry continues to recognize the advantageous ways in which it affects our body. Various scientists and medical researchers report a link between the chemical compounds found in turmeric and several health benefits (2). But what happens when you combine your turmeric with black pepper?

In this article, we discuss how turmeric and black pepper work together to support your health. We also share the most effective way to experience the benefits of turmeric and black pepper, specifically of the chemical compounds found within these two common household ingredients. 

How Turmeric and Black Pepper Work With the Body

Turmeric and black pepper both contain key compounds that are responsible for the health benefits associated with these foods. Turmeric’s key compound is curcumin (3), while black pepper’s key compound is piperine (4). Below, we discuss how each of these key compounds interacts with the body and plays several supportive roles:

Curcumin in Turmeric

Curcuminoids are active compounds found in turmeric. Curcumin is the most significant one, and the key player in the health benefits associated with the golden spice. This particular chemical compound falls within the polyphenol family, a compound group found within many fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants, and research is continuously assessing the benefits associated with their consumption (5). In addition to its antioxidant properties, curcumin is said to provide potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits (6). This is likely linked to the ways in which curcumin defends the body against toxins, fights off free radicals, and eliminates harmful bacteria during injury or infection. The one issue regarding curcumin is that the body does not absorb it easily.

Piperine in Black Pepper

The main bioactive compound in black pepper is an alkaloid called piperine (7). Alkaloids are often found in modern medicine, specifically pain relief products, as they provide a safe means of reducing symptoms of inflammation and injury. Piperine specifically has been shown to support digestion, relieve nausea, reduce headaches, and more (8). These benefits aside, the main reason that health and wellness professionals recommend the combination of turmeric and black pepper is because piperine helps support the body’s absorption of curcumin (9). In doing so, individuals can receive the optimal benefits of both active ingredients.

How Piperine Supports the Absorption of Curcumin

Scientific studies have shown that piperine supports the absorption of curcumin, but how exactly does the chemical compound interact with the body to deliver these results?

There are two research-based theories regarding this question. One theory suggests that piperine may make it easier for curcumin to pass through the intestines into the bloodstream (10). The other theory suggests that piperine may reduce the rate at which the liver breaks down curcumin, increasing its concentration levels in the bloodstream (11). 

More research is needed on the effects piperine has on the absorption of curcumin, but the existing studies do provide a greater understanding of how turmeric and black pepper work together to support your health.

Health Benefits of A turmeric and black pepper

When it comes to combining turmeric and black pepper, individuals can experience a wealth of health benefits. Below, we take a closer look at some of the most notable benefits of curcumin and piperine:

Fights Inflammation

Curcumin is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the chemical compound is said to rival even some of the most effective anti-inflammatory medicines (12), and without any negative side effects. The inflammation and pain-relieving qualities of curcumin may be beneficial for individuals with arthritis and other conditions associated with chronic inflammation. Piperine has also shown its ability to fight inflammation (13), and also plays a role in influencing brain receptors to reduce pain associated with inflammation. When combined, curcumin and piperine can be a powerful anti-inflammatory duo. 

Alleviates Pain

The anti-inflammatory qualities of curcumin and piperine are linked to pain relief, especially among individuals suffering from arthritis and chronic inflammation. These powerful compounds have the ability to target areas affected by inflammation as well as impact various receptors throughout the body.

May Combat Cancer

More and more research is surfacing regarding the potential benefits of curcumin for preventing and treating cancer (14). According to some of these studies, curcumin plays a role in limiting cancer growth as well as the spread of cancer at a molecular level. Piperine is also showing promise as a means of combating cancer. Research indicates that piperine may contribute to the impairment of tumor formation as well as the help eliminate cancerous cells (15). The combination of these two ingredients may play a key role in helping individuals fight cancer. 

Reduces Digestive Issues

Turmeric has long been used to support digestive function. Today, studies highlight its ability to support the gut by reducing spasms and flatulence (16). Additionally, piperine has been shown to support digestive enzymes and subsequently assist the body’s ability to process food (17). The anti-inflammatory role that curcumin and piperine play in the body may also reduce inflammation that could otherwise negatively impact digestive health. 

How to Take Turmeric and Black Pepper for Best Results

While turmeric and black pepper may offer several health benefits, individuals will unlikely experience their full potential from consuming the raw food items with meals or in beverages. This is primarily because the concentration of the key active ingredients – curcumin and piperine – will be too low in a serving to deliver effective results. Therefore, individuals need to turn to an effective means to experience the aforementioned health benefits. 

The most powerful way to take turmeric and black pepper is in a supplement. Research Verified Turmeric Curcumin is a clinically-proven turmeric complex that contains the optimal concentration of the core ingredient curcumin. Furthermore, this particular supplement contains a lab-tested and patented formula of piperine called Bioperine®. This high-quality natural bioavailability enhancer is the best form of piperine on the market and is included in the best turmeric curcumin supplements. A clinical study notes that the inclusion of Bioperine® in curcumin-based formulas increased the absorption of the chemical compound by up to 2,000% (18). These results were achieved without any adverse side effects. 

Individuals looking to boost their health should turn to a turmeric and black pepper complex to deliver the benefits associated with curcumin and piperine. These turmeric curcumin supplements are the most efficient way of delivering a safe and high-yielding concentration of the core ingredients. 

to Summarize

Turmeric has been historically used as alternative medicine, and more and more scientists are confirming its ability to support one’s health and wellbeing. The core active ingredient, curcumin, is said to interact with the body in a variety of ways to deliver these health benefits. Black pepper is said to contribute to these benefits as well. This is because the key ingredient piperine influences the body in several positive ways. The combination of these two common household ingredients may help individuals reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, combat cancer, and aid digestion. It is, however, important to note that individuals need to consume a quality turmeric complex that includes Bioperine®, as this will deliver the best results. Don’t rely on turmeric spice and black peppercorns alone- find yourself a good turmeric curcumin supplement. 


Andrew Lennon is a naturopathic physician based in Windsor, California. He frequently recommends Research Verified products to his friends and clients and was delighted to be asked to write for the blog. His primary hobbies include golf, paddleboarding, and sampling the locally grown wine, but the fact of the matter is that his favorite pastime is anything that can be done with his wife, children, and their pet dog, Angelica.

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