Alkaloids include a family of naturally occurring chemical compounds containing mostly basic nitrogen atoms. Piperine is an alkaloid present in black pepper (Pipernigrum), one of the most widely used spices. It is also present in long pepper (Piper longum), and other Piper species fruits belonging to the family of Piperaceae. Piperine is responsible for the distinct “biting” quality of black pepper. Piperine has many pharmacological effects and has been shown to have several health benefits, especially against chronic diseases. 2016 “Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27671817/
A clinical study done at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India and published in Planta Medica journal in 1998 provided clinical evidence of piperine’s role in increasing the bioavailability of Curcumin. 1998 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9619120/
In a 2009 study of the effects of piperine on a cellular level, clinical investigators determined that piperine had anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive (anti-pain),and antiarthritic effects in an arthritis animal model. They determined that piperine “significantly inhibited the production of two important proinflammatory mediators, IL6 and PGE2 (PGE2 plays a central role in triggering pain). They also found that piperine effectively improved the symptoms of arthritic diseases with an effect comparable to prednisolone. In addition, they showed that piperine had antirheumatic effects and could potentially benefit those with RA(rheumatoid arthritis).
“Arthritis Research and Therapy” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688199/
Interestingly, in a 2013 study, the authors concluded that “the fact that piperine alters a number of factors known to be involved in RA(Rheumatoid arthritis) pathogenesis indicates that piperine can be used similar to indomethacin as a safe and effective therapy for CIA"(collagen induced arthritis) and may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. 2013 “Cellular Immunology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23921080/