Best Time to Take Black Pepper for Max Turmeric Absorption?

Every once in a while we receive an email like this:


I hate the taste of golden paste and thus include turmeric in my diet.

The issue is black pepper does not go very well with most dishes we cook.

So, if we are not taking both together, when should I take it to ensure it still helps?

Can black pepper taken in morning help whole day?

If you have been following our articles, you already know that turmeric is poorly absorbed in our body.

For those who are new, here is a brief:

Turmeric’s bioavailability problem

If one takes just turmeric, most of it will just pass as it is without being absorbed in the body.

This fact has two consequences:

  • One does not get the full benefit of turmeric even when the dosages taken may be high
  • We have to find “something” by which the absorption can be enhanced

Thanks to mother nature, one of the solution is right there in our kitchen – black pepper.

Black pepper has piperine, which aids the absorption of turmeric in the body by as much as 2000%.

Read more details on how black pepper enhances bioavailability here>

But when should I take black pepper?

Okay coming to our main topic now – when you should take black pepper?

For people taking golden paste (recipe here) this question does not arise as black pepper is included in the paste.

But what if you include turmeric in smoothies? or say in food where you cannot or do not want to add black pepper?

In such cases when should you take black pepper becomes an important question. Okay, so here is the answer.

The best option is to take turmeric and ground pepper together. But it is ok if you cannot follow that rule.

In an animal model investigating the metabolism of piperine demonstrated that 97% of oral 30mg dose was absorbed and its highest concentration levels in stomach and intestine were reached after 6 hours.

As piperine plays an important role in the absorption of turmeric through the intestine, thus this number is important.

In another study investigating food-drug interactions volunteers were asked to consume a drug, phenytoin 30 minutes after consuming a soup containing black pepper.

Interestingly piperine did increase serum levels of phenytoin and delayed its excretion.

Thus if you take black pepper separately then – it is okay to take turmeric even 2-3 hrs after the time of taking black pepper. 

This means that black pepper taken in lunch is unlikely to help your turmeric dosage by dinner time. But it also means it does not need to be “always together” too.

Hope this info helps.

How and when do you take black pepper? Do let me know through comments below!

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