McCormick Science Institute

MSI Funded Paper: Potential Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Singletary, K


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MSI Team

May 2010-- An overview of the potential health benefits of black pepper, funded by the McCormick Science Institute.  An evaluation of the research is presented. Read the entire study (PDF)

The black pepper (Piper nigrum L) vine and its extracts have been used as a folk medicine in a variety of cultures and are the source of the most commonly used spice worldwide. The chemical piperine is a major bioactive component present in black pepper (and white pepper as well) that has numerous reported physiological and drug-like actions.

The scientific literature provides evidence that black pepper may have health benefits, particularly in enhancing digestive tract function. There is suggestive evidence that black pepper piperine may have nervous system benefits and may influence body energy usage in rats. Preliminary evidence in cell culture studies suggests that black pepper contains antioxidant constituents and possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

A brief summary of potential health benefits, and suggestions for future research are presented in this study.


Singletary, K. Black Pepper: Overview of Health Benefits. Nutrition Today. 2010 January/February: 45(1): 43-47. Read the entire study (PDF)
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