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Herb Affair Blog - turmeric

The Dynamic Duo- Turmeric & Black Pepper

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Why You Should Take Them Together

As more people begin to understand the benefits of turmeric, we are beginning to see a growing trend in using turmeric in culinary recipes, face masks, natural toothpaste, etc. We want the benefits anyway we can get them! However, what many may not realize is our bodies do not retain some of the most important benefits without a little extra help. In fact, turmeric has a very low bioavailability which means it does not get absorbed efficiently in the body. This is due to the rapid metabolism of the turmeric in the liver and the intestinal walls. As a result of this quick metabolism, a special key ingredient found in turmeric, curcumin, also does not get absorbed into our body.

No curcumin, no benefits.

So How Do We Get the Great Benefits Found in Turmeric?

Turmeric has a counterpart- Black pepper. When these two power spices are used together beautiful things begin to happen! A natural ingredient found in black pepper called piperine, greatly increases the absorption of curcumin within the body. What does this mean for you? It means your body now gets all of the benefits found within the turmeric.

Curcumin + Piperine = Benefits!

To increase your body’s ability to reap the benefits found in turmeric, you should also consider using turmeric extract or raw turmeric versus the loose turmeric spice you find in the typical grocery store.

What are Some of the Benefits People Have Reported?

Citizens and scientists alike are becoming more aware of the benefits found from combining turmeric and black pepper. One of the most intriguing benefits currently being researched is the turmeric and black pepper combination and its impact on cancer. A few studies have documented that when curcumin and piperine are combined, they are able to target breast cancer stem cells, thus reducing and possibly even eliminating the cells. In the future, this may provide women with a natural alternative to the toxic medication currently available for cancer treatments.

It is important to note, many of the studies done so far have been completed in vitro (in a test tube) and not in vivo (in a living organism). More studies will need to take place before experts can determine the use of the curcumin and piperine combination in vivo before offering it to the public as a cancer treatment.

A second benefit of turmeric and black pepper is the combination’s ability to reduce inflammation and decrease pain. The dynamic pair has shown to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes which often lead to inflammation. Typically, it is recommended that the supplement be taken before the onset of inflammation; however, turmeric and black pepper are also used following the onset of inflammation to help reduce the symptoms.

Individuals who are looking for an extra tool for weight loss may also find benefits from consuming turmeric and black pepper. Black pepper in particular is thermogenic. This means that it increases the body’s metabolism and increases the number of calories burned. When this is combined with turmeric’s ability to lower bad cholesterol, it becomes a win-win situation!

The benefits of the curcumin and piperine combination goes on- reduction in memory loss, combatting depression, and relieving peptic ulcers to name just a few more!

The Perfect Pair

There you have it! When paired with the piperine found in black pepper, the curcumin in turmeric has countless benefits for you! It is no wonder the Indian culture has been using this combination for years in their delicious spice recipes such as the traditional curry powder, masala, etc. Deliciously spiced food and reaping health benefits in the process? YES PLEASE!

A Word of Caution

Although the benefits of raw turmeric and black pepper are becoming more clear, it is important to consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or allergies. It is also important to schedule an appointment with your doctor before eliminating any medication they may have prescribed for your conditions. The information above is to not replace any medical advice or professional treatment.

References:

Anastasia. “Turmeric and Black Pepper- This Combination Could Save Lives.” Diet of Life, www.dietoflife.com/turmeric-and-black-pepper-this-combination-could-save-lives.

“Health Benefits of Black Pepper and Turmeric.” Turmeric for Health, www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/health-benefits-of-black-pepper-and-turmeric

Kakarala, Madhuri, et al. “Targeting Breast Stem Cells with the Cancer Preventive Compounds Curcumin and Piperine.” Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 122, no. 3, 2010, pp. 777-785. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-009-0612-x

Thompson, Caroline. “Health Benefits of Black Pepper and Turmeric.” Livestrong, 29 June 2015, www.livestrong.com/article/519952-health-benefits-of-black-pepper-and-turmeric/

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