Cancerfighter’s Weblog

Alternative cancer therapies and ideas

Health benefits of black pepper

Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on January 19, 2009


http://www.fightingcancer.com news:

http://health. learninginfo. org/black- pepper.htm

The Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Black pepper is derived from the fruit of a climbing vine native to
southern India and Sri Lanka. White pepper is likewise made from this
fruit but is processed differently. Used almost universally, black
pepper
is one of the most common condiments worldwide and figures
prominently in most curry recipes. It is also frequently included in
the prescriptions of Ayurvedic and other traditional health
practitioners. The spicy tang of black pepper is due to its most
important and well-researched phytochemical, piperine.

Thanks to many of its constituent compounds such as eugenol,
kaempferol, myrcene, quercetin and rutin black pepper is a much more
effective antioxidant than many fruit and vegetables.

Moreover it contains the unique compound, piperine, which is capable of
enhancing the bioavailability of important nutritive compounds in other
foods and spices.

Medicinal Properties of Black Pepper

Cancer

By increasing the bioavailability of other anti-tumourigenic spices,
black pepper dramatically increases their potency and effectiveness
against cancer. In addition to this important property, black pepper
also counteracts cancer development directly. Its principal
phytochemical, piperine, inhibits some of the pro-inflammatory
cytokines that are produced by tumour cells. In so doing it interferes
with the signalling mechanisms between cancer cells, thereby reducing
the chances of tumour progression. Collectively, these properties make
black pepper one of the most important spices for preventing cancer.

Oxidative stress

Black pepper contains several powerful antioxidants and is thus one of
the most important spices for preventing and curtailing oxidative
stress. In addition to their direct antioxidant properties, several of
these compounds work indirectly by enhancing the action of other
antioxidants. This makes black pepper particularly valuable in
minimising the damage caused by a diet rich in saturated fats, one of
the main causes of oxidative stress.

The high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides associated with
oxidative stress inhibit the efficacy of important antioxidants like
glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase,
vitamin C and vitamin E. However, in the face of this potentially
destructive process, black pepper actually maintains and enhances the
levels and efficacy of these important antioxidant compounds.

Immunomodulation

Black pepper exhibits immunomodulatory properties and is capable of
boosting the number and the efficacy of white cells, thereby assisting
the body to mount a powerful defense against invading microbes and
cancer cells.

Bioavailability enhancement

Piperine increases the bioavailability of valuable phytochemicals
present in other spices and can boost the activity of biochemically
active compounds contained in green tea, curcumin and a variety of
other spices by up to several hundred percent, depending on the
molecule concerned. It does this via two principal mechanisms. First,
it promotes the rapid absorption of certain chemicals from the
gastrointestinal tract, protecting them from being broken down by
chemicals in the intestinal lumen and by enzymes that occur in the
cells lining the intestines. Secondly, once the compound has entered
the blood stream, piperine provides protection against oxidative damage
by liver enzymes. In this way black pepper enables us to reap optimum
benefits from the medicinal phytochemicals found in other dietary
spices.

Its bioavailability enhancing properties makes black pepper one of the
most important spices. It should be added to recipes and meals as often
as possible as it boosts the medicinal value of many spices and other
foods.

About The Author:

Keith Scott is a medical doctor who has a special interest in
nutritional medicine. He has written several books on health related
topics including Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power Of Spices and
Natural Home Pharmacy.

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