Black Pepper Boosts Turmeric’s Cholesterol Lowering Effect

Turmeric is a spice and herb native to Asia. Most of its therapeutic value is attributed to its bioactive ingredient, curcumin.

Curcumin is not soluble in water and hence is poorly absorbed in the body. This reduces its therapeutic effect. Piperine, the bioactive ingredient of black pepper, is known for increasing absorption of drugs and boosting their concentration in blood.

Piperine boosts the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. Therefore supplements of turmeric are formulated to contain curcumin and piperine and even the Golden Paste recipe calls for black pepper.

Interestingly piperine does more than just boosting curcumin’s bioavailabilty. It adds to therapeutic effect of curcumin.

This study published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, July 2014 shows that piperine adds to cholesterol lowering effect of curcumin.

What happened in this study?

An animal model of hyperlipidemia or elevated cholesterol and blood lipid levels was developed.
They were either administered curcumin alone or in combination with piperine.

Effects on cholesterol and blood lipid levels were observed.

What were the results?

In comparison to curcumin alone, curcumin combined with piperine brought about significant decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride level in blood and liver.

Increased excretion of cholesterol was observed.

The combination also increased the levels of good cholesterol. Curcumin and piperine also increased the activity and expression of genes that regulate cholesterol metabolism.

How did this occur?

Curcumin and piperine regulated the activity of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism. The combination also promoted bile acid formation which serves as a way of excretion of cholesterol.

Though not depicted in this study, various scientific evidences suggest that piperine alone also has cholesterol lowering effect.

What does this mean?

Piperine not only enhances curcumin’s bioavailability but also increases its therapeutic effect such as lowering cholesterol levels.

This combination is useful in treatment of hyperlipidemia and metabolic syndrome.

Read paper here:

About the Author


Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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  1. Are there different types of turmeric powder, and is some of it dangerous long term?….as with the cheaper, common cinnamon?

    1. Hi. There is only one turmeric powder that is a bright orange or yellow in color and obtained from Curcuma longa. There are different varieties of turmeric but only yellow turmeric or Curcuma longa is used popularly in diet and researched upon. If you are looking for organic brands of turmeric please check our recommendations on

  2. I thought I was doing myself a favor by using a heaping teaspoon of organic turmeric in a glass with either water and vit. c mixed…. or coconut milk and a little maple syrup and pepper. No? I must make the paste to reap the value?

    1. Hi. Since you are including coconut milk which has fats and you are taking black pepper too; so yes this will help in absorption of turmeric. It isnt a necessity to make a paste if you are taking turmeric with fats and black pepper. Limit or avoid maple syrup. Also avoid taking turmeric in water as it is not soluble in water at room temperature.

    1. Hi. If you are talking about fresh turmeric roots then yes they are effective by themselves. But if you are taking it for a particular condition then you would have to make a paste with it and include black pepper and oil so as to boost absorption. To derive the same effect from roots alone you would have to consume large amounts which might not suit your stomach. Hope this helps.