Piperine is a black pepper extract, and sometimes in products as bioperine. It has really emerged in the market as a good enhancer of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phyto-compounds, and more. Only a very miniscule amount is needed to achieve a clnically effective response, and there is quite a bit of research backing its potentiation abilities. When piperine is taken with food, it helps increase digestive enzyme secretion and reduce gastrointestinal transit time. This is a sign of good digestion and the type of digestion younger people usually have. (1)
Piperine's ability to promote increased absorption occurs through multiple mechanisms. It is somehow able to have an enzymatic transforming effect on different substances in the liver and influence p-glycoprotein and different enzyme systems. Piperine also safely alters the intestinal permeability and brush border. (1,2) There were concerns about piperine's safety for a while, but animal and human studies have shown very good safety when taken as directed. Not only does piperine show very good safety, the benefits that are emerging with research that's pretty incredible considering the miniscule dose.
Aside from all the absorption enhancing properties of piperine, it actually has quite a few health benefits. Some of the benefits with evidence so far include immune modulation, respiratory (anti-asthmatic) antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pathogenic properties. Only a very small dose of piperine is needed to protect against lipid peroxidation by increasing antioxidant enzymes in the body. Piperine also helps increase endorphins in the brain, improves adrenal production, and increases serotonin. These actions may help with depression or just improve overall mood. (3)
Suggested use 10-15mgs 1-2 times per day either with meals, or mixed with supplements to increase their effectiveness.