Who Knew? The black pepper that spices up our food, and makes it taste better, can also help fight cancer in our bodies.
Researchers at the University of Michigan, and other institutions, have found that black pepper has health benefits in addition to its use as a spice.
Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper can reduce intestinal gas, prevent or limit oxidative stress, reduce damage from saturated fats in our diet, prevent bacterial growth in our intestines, improve digestion, and act as an anti oxidant.
Although adding black pepper to our food has many benefits, using piperine, an extract from black pepper fruit, can take those health benefits to another level.
When piperine is extracted from the black pepper plant fruit, and long pepper plants of South India, it becomes a powerful supplement and anti-oxidant.
By itself piperine has limited uses for health, due to absorption problems, but when used in combination with other supplements or anti oxidants it is absorbed up to 30% more in the intestines.
The higher absorption rate is what turns piperine into a promising cancer fighting agent. The scientists at the University of Michigan found that combined with curcumin, an extract from turmeric, piperine helped stop growth of cancer forming cells. A higher concentration seemed to stop breast cancer stem cells from forming.
What is Piperine?
Nutriline.org – a supplement reference site on the Internet, states that piperine is an alkaloid that makes the feeling of heat when eaten. It was first extracted by a German scientist in the 19th century, so it has been around for a long time. To make the best use of piperine, researchers must find the proper concentration and combination with other anti cancer agents.
Piperine May Help Fight Prostate Cancer
One kind of cancer that piperine may help fight is prostate cancer. Research into Black pepper and the prostate is making progress. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among American men. 190,000+ men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.
Though prostate cancer consists of slow-growing tumors inside the prostate gland, it can spread if not treated. It is important to catch this cancer early before it metastasizes, or spreads outside the prostate to bones, seminal vesicles or lymph nodes. Caught early, prostate cancer is very treatable. However, left untreated it can become fatal.
Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Common treatments for prostate cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. Now black pepper and piperine are showing great promise as an alternative cancer treatment.
How Piperine Works
Piperine works by inhibiting pro inflammatory cytokines produced by tumors. Black pepper (piperine) also inhibits signals or communication between cancer cells, slowing down the growth of tumors and the spread of cancer.
So black pepper and its extract, piperine, are showing great potential in natural prostate health and the treatment of prostate cancer. As a preventative measure, it makes sense to spice up your food a little with pepper and take supplements containing piperine.
About Author: Ernesto enjoys studying the human body, science, and the universe. He is also the editor for My Lifestyle Diet where he and his staff provide healthy resources, including reviews on popular weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers for Guys.