Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.

It gives curry its yellow colour and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years to treat various health conditions.

Studies support its use and show that it can benefit your health.

But coupling turmeric with black pepper may enhance its effects.

This article reviews the potential health benefits of combining turmeric and black pepper.

Key Active Ingredients

In recent years, research has confirmed that turmeric has medicinal properties

And while most people think of it as nothing but a seasoning, black pepper can benefit health as well.

Both turmeric and black pepper have key active ingredients that contribute to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and disease-fighting qualities.

Curcumin in Turmeric

The key compounds in turmeric are called curcuminoids. Curcumin itself is the most active ingredient and appears to be the most important.

As a polyphenol, curcumin has several advantages to health. It’s a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties 

However, one of the greatest downfalls of curcumin is that it’s not well absorbed in the body 

Piperine in Black Pepper

Black pepper contains the bioactive compound piperine, which is an alkaloid like capsaicin, the active component found in chilli powder and cayenne pepper 

Piperine has been shown to help relieve nausea, headaches and poor digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties 

Still, its most significant benefit may be its ability to boost the absorption of curcumin 

“Curcumin in turmeric and piperine in black pepper has been shown to improve health due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and disease-fighting qualities.”

Piperine Enhances the Absorption of Curcumin

Unfortunately, the curcumin in turmeric is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, you could be missing out on its advantages to health.

However, adding black pepper can help. Research supports that combining the piperine in black pepper with the curcumin in turmeric enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2,000% 

One study showed that adding 20 mg of piperine to 2 grams of curcumin increased its absorption significantly 

There are currently two theories on how this works.

First, piperine makes it easier for curcumin to pass through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream

Second, it may slow down the breakdown of curcumin by the liver, increasing its blood levels.

As a result, combining curcumin with piperine increases its potential health benefits.

“The piperine found in black pepper enhances curcumin absorption, making it more readily available to be used by your body.”