Turmeric and Black Pepper: EXPLAINED

It has become a common perception that the most effective way to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of turmeric, or the extracted curcumin, is to pair it with none other than the common kitchen staple, black pepper. Piperine, the pepper alkaloid and primary contributor to the pungency of pepper, has been specifically highlighted as a “bioenhancer” commonly used to increase the body’s ability to absorb curcumin and its nutrients. 

Piperine has been utilized in the nutritional supplement industry due to its low cost and relative ease to incorporate into formulations. Although it appears to be effective, it does however have several drawbacks and isn’t as effective as liposomes when increasing bioavailability. So what exactly is the difference between bioenhancers and liposomal delivery? Is one more effective than the other to maximize nutrient absorption? To provide the most transparency, we compared both methods so you can make the best personal decision based upon your specific needs.

What are the key differences between bioenhancers and liposomal delivery? 

As we stated above, piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of various nutrients and pharmaceuticals by 30-200%. In contrast, liposomal delivery can increase the bioavailability of nutrients and pharmaceuticals tenfold [1,2].

Due to the limited capacity in a tablet or capsule, the amount of active ingredients may be limited to a less-than-optimal amount once piperine is included. Piperine’s effectiveness is also weight-dependent on dosage. Liquid liposomal supplements, on the other hand, are not limited by capsule or tablet capacity and their effectiveness isn’t influenced by the size or weight of the user.  

The alkaloid is not ideal for drinks either, as its strong and pungent flavor can usually only be masked with intense flavors and sweeteners. Too many additives may contribute to higher caloric or sugar content, among other factors taking away from the nutritional value. 

Does the body react better to one over the other? 

Piperine has poor water solubility [3]. Keep in mind that compounds which have poor water solubility will also have poor dissolution (ability to dissolve in the stomach) as well as poor absorption in the small intestine. It all adds up to poor bioavailability. Since piperine’s role is solely to enhance bioavailability, its poor solubility is considered one of its major limiting factors.  

In contrast, the process of creating liposomes also reduces the particle size of the active ingredients, thus increasing solubility.  Experts generally agree the smaller the particle size and the higher the dissolution, the higher the bioavailability.  

Are There Any Negatives to Piperine? 

We’d like to note piperine can be irritating to the stomach, so those with sensitivities may be faced with some discomfort. In addition, it may present anticoagulant properties depending on the dosage. If used in combination with other anticoagulants (curcumin, for example), the combination may have a negative interaction with prescription blood thinners [4].

What are the Key Benefits of Liposomal Supplements? 

With that being said, liposomal supplements employ cutting-edge pharmaceutical technology to increase bioavailability of nutrients.  Liposomes not only protect active ingredients from the harsh environment of the stomach, but ingredients are also absorbed through the lymphatic system for rapid entry into the bloodstream. Nutrients absorbed without liposomes enter the bloodstream and go straight to the liver where most are filtered out.  

Now, we aren’t trying to suggest that piperine isn’t effective or a waste of money. We’re simply just offering insight into the more effective option and once you weigh the facts, we’re confident you’ll agree liposomes, like those used in Manna Liposomal products, are a superior way of getting “All Of Your Nutrition” out of your curcumin supplements.  

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3634921/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340033150_Liposomes_for_Enhanced_Bioavailability_of_Water-Insoluble_Drugs_In_Vivo_Evidence_and_Recent_Approaches
  3. https://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ijap/article/view/41596
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1576058/

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