The Wavelength

Better Turmeric: Bioavailability and Piperine Explained

In recent years, turmeric supplements have surged in popularity, and it's no wonder why. This ancient super-spice boasts an array of impressive qualities, including its potent antioxidant properties and ability to support whole-body health and vitality. Turmeric is most notably used to promote a healthy inflammatory response and, for many people, has become a natural go-to for soothing occasional discomfort from stiff joints, sore muscles, or even relieving minor aches and pains.

However, the true potential of turmeric supplements lies in their bioavailability, or how effectively your body can absorb and utilize the active compound, curcumin. Sadly, curcumin's bioavailability has long been a point of concern due to its notably low absorption rate. Enter: piperine, the naturally occurring compound found in black pepper, which has earned a reputation for its ability to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric. However, piperine may not be the ideal solution to the absorption dilemma, as emerging science suggests it may come with its own potential risks…

What is Piperine?

Piperine is a natural alkaloid found in black pepper. It has been shown to increase the bioavailability of certain vitamins and minerals such as curcumin, vitamin B6, and beta-carotene. This is advantageous because it means your body is able to take in and use more of those health-promoting nutrients.

Black Pepper

Why is Piperine Used in Turmeric Supplements?

Turmeric has been revered for centuries, it wasn't until recently that the scientific community began to understand curcumin, the active compound in turmeric that's responsible for many of its health benefits. The challenge with curcumin is that it has low bioavailability, which means it's not easily absorbed or utilized by the body. For this reason, consuming raw turmeric or even standard turmeric supplements may not deliver the full range of curcumin's benefits.

Interestingly, traditional culinary practices seem to hold a hidden gem of wisdom in addressing this issue. Generations past have combined turmeric with black pepper and ingredients that are naturally high in fat, and modern science is now shedding light on the reasons behind this practice.

Research has revealed that both piperine (derived from black pepper) and lipids (fats) play a significant role in enhancing the body's ability to absorb and effectively utilize curcumin. Piperine, specifically, has been found to enhance the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2000%! It does this by inhibiting certain enzymes in the body responsible for breaking it down.

It's no wonder that more and more curcumin supplements now contain piperine. However, while piperine holds tremendous promise in optimizing the benefits of turmeric, it is important to be aware of its potential downsides, too, particularly concerning liver health and detoxification, as well as gut health.

Foods with Turmeric

Potential Risks Associated with Piperine Use

Detoxification and Liver Health

A process called "glucuronidation" plays a vital role in the body's detoxification process. This phase 2 liver detoxification pathway facilitates the elimination of toxins and drugs from the system. It is responsible for eliminating both endogenous compounds, like hormones, and exogenous toxins, such as drugs and carcinogens.

When a foreign compound enters the body, it is often in a form that cannot be easily excreted. Here's where glucuronidation steps in. This process, performed by the liver, involves attaching a glucuronic acid molecule to the drug or toxin, making it more water-soluble and thus easier for the body to excrete through the kidneys or bile. By enhancing the compound's solubility, glucuronidation enables the body to efficiently dispose of potentially harmful substances.

Some research has suggested that piperine may inhibit this important detoxification pathway. This could lead to elevated levels of certain drugs in the blood and a buildup of potentially harmful substances in the body, which could in some cases, have significant implications for overall health.

Additionally, in an animal study looking at piperine's effect on liver function, considerable liver damage was detected after just 3 weeks of use.


Gut Irritation and Leaky Gut

It's no secret that gut health is key to overall well-being. However, recent research suggests that piperine may increase the secretion of stomach acid, contributing to gut irritation and intestinal permeability, commonly referred to as "leaky gut" syndrome.

The gut lining is crucial to maintaining a healthy GI tract. When this lining becomes permeable, harmful substances can enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to a host of health issues. Therefore, it's essential to approach piperine-containing supplements with caution, especially for individuals with gut-related conditions.


Solving for Bioavailability Without Piperine

Given the massive surge in popularity, scientists have been tirelessly working to enhance curcumin's bioavailability – and it seems their efforts have finally paid off! Some next-generation curcumin extracts offer a superior level of absorption compared to traditional extracts, and the best part is they don't need the help of piperine or fat to get the job done!

CuminUP60®: A Next-Generation Curcumin Extract

CuminUP60® is a revolutionary curcumin extract that's surpassing the limitations of traditional supplements with enhanced bioavailability. In fact, clinical studies have demonstrated that it's 14 times more bioavailable than regular 95% curcumin!

CuminUP60® is made with a groundbreaking technology that transforms hydrophobic (water-resisting) curcumin into hydrophilic (water-attracted) form without the use of solvents. The water soluble, micron-sized curcumin particles can then easily pass through cellular membranes, leading to a higher concentration of curcumin in the bloodstream.

The bottom line: With CuminUP60®, you get a powerful and efficient way to enhance curcumin's bioavailability, making it readily available for your body to absorb and utilize.

CuminUP60® Graph

Where to Find CuminUP60®

Turmeric by Blueshift Nutrition is the absolute tastiest and most effective way to take your daily turmeric supplement! Every Turmeric drink pod is powered by the next-generation CuminUP60® curcumin extract and packs the curcumin antioxidant power of 1800 mg of regular curcumin (or 4+ tablespoons of regular turmeric!) – without the need for piperine or fat. And the fact that it's a drink, not a pill, further compounds its advanced absorption and bioavailability.

As with all of Blueshift's pod-based supplement drinks, you won't find any added sugar, artificial sweeteners or flavors, or other undesirable ingredients in Turmeric – just a naturally delicious Citrus Medley drink that tastes like a burst of sunshine in your mouth. Try Turmeric from Blueshift today and experience the whole-body health benefits of 14X more bioavailable curcumin in a tasty drink that you'll actually look forward to every day.

Blueshift Turmeric

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a natural way to improve your overall health, turmeric supplements should be on your radar. With its potent antioxidant and inflammation-supportive properties, turmeric has been revered for centuries as a natural health super-spice.

However, the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric supplements has always been a challenge. Piperine was previously seen as the answer to this problem, but recent studies have shown that it may interfere with glucuronidation and irritate the gut lining. Fortunately, next-generation curcumin extracts like CuminUP60® have emerged as promising alternatives, with improved bioavailability (14X higher than regular curcumin) and none of the drawbacks of piperine.

For those seeking a bioavailable source of curcumin to support their health goals, Turmeric by Blueshift Nutrition is a gamechanger. Utilizing CuminUP60®, this delicious Superblend drink provides enhanced bioavailability and all the benefits of curcumin without the potential risk of piperine – plus, it tastes like sunshine!

CuminUP60® is a registered trademark of Chenland Nutritionals, Inc.