May 3, 2012
Black Pepper May Be All You Need To Block The Formation of New Fat Cells
Who on earth doesn't want to block the formation of new fat? Maybe Sumo wrestlers, eating champions or even some football players, but for the majority of us, we don't want more fat. If something natural can block the formation of new fat cells, even better. A new study published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, explains how black pepper can reduce fat levels in the bloodstream.
The study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research pinpoints piperine -- the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine can also block the formation of new fat cells.
Soo-Jong Um, Ji-Cheon Jeong and colleagues describe previous studies indicating that piperine reduces fat levels in the bloodstream and has other beneficial health effects. Black pepper and the black pepper plant, they note, have been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine to treat gastrointestinal distress, pain, inflammation and other disorders. Despite that long medicinal history, scientists know little about how piperine works on the innermost molecular level. The scientists set out to get that information about piperine's anti-fat effects.
One of the reasons black pepper is effective for weight loss, is due to its ability to increase the metabolic rate. This means that the body burns calories faster, which results in weight loss.
There is only 1 calorie in a 1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper with 11% fat, 81% carbs and 8% protein.
Their laboratory studies and computer models found that piperine interferes with the activity of genes that control the formation of new fat cells. In doing so, piperine may also set off a metabolic chain reaction that helps keep fat in check in other ways. The group suggests that the finding may lead to wider use of piperine or black-pepper extracts in fighting obesity and related diseases.
Previous research has shown that supplementation with black pepper or piperine, can reduce high-fat diet induced oxidative stress to the cells.
Piperine simulates the enzymes of the pancreas that breakdown proteins, speeding up the digestive process. Both West and East have used pepper to treat constipation, diarrhea, relieve gas and help improve digestion. It can also dramatically increase absorption of selenium, vitamin B and beta-carotene as well as other nutrients.
This alkaloid also helps to increase endorphins in the brain [which helped to reduce pain and improve mood] thereby acting as a natural anti-depressant and increase brain functions.
Interesting Facts on Pepper
- Try combining a tiny bit of cinnamon and black pepper together when you're feeling drowsy. Sniff a pinch. You'll be amazed at how it will affect your alertness and concentration.
- Ayurvedic medicine valued pepper for a range of properties including its hot, light and anti-flatulent effects. Ayurvedic Practitioners may mix pepper with other substances such as castor oil, honey or ghee together with other herbs or spices to treat stomach ailments.
- Pepper is also featured in Ayurvedic remedies for hernia, diabetes, liver problems and skin eruptions. To alleviate hemorrhoids, pepper is used in the form of confection.
- Pepper is used as an insecticide and is prescribed for eradicating parasitic worms.
- In Unani medicine, black pepper has been described as an aphrodisiac.
- People use Piperine’s anti-septic and analgesic properties to treat wounds and lessen pain
- Black pepper is occasionally employed to lower fever either alone or with other drugs such as quinine.
- Today, pepper accounts for a fifth of world spice trade. Vietnam has replaced India as the biggest producer.
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.