Combining Turmeric, Curcumin and Black Pepper

Written by: Melissa Mitri, MS, RDN

Turmeric, often referred to as the golden spice, is a tall plant native to South Asia. It is often used in Indian dishes such as in curries. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is responsible for many of its anti-inflammatory health benefits. While many studies demonstrate several health benefits from consuming turmeric spice alone, the research is even stronger for combining turmeric and curcumin with black pepper. 

This article discusses the benefits of combining turmeric and curcumin with black pepper.

Curcumin Benefits

The key compounds in turmeric spice are called curcumoids. One of the most active and abundant curcumoids is curcumin, which appears to be the most important and most beneficial to our health. Curcumin is known to have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Many chronic diseases and their symptoms are triggered by inflammation, such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome, and even depression. 

However, the question is how much curcumin is needed to exert these effects and how to improve its absorption. It is a well known fact that curcumin is not absorbed well by the body, and it is very difficult to get in enough through food alone. Consuming turmeric spice in your diet only contains approximately 3% curcumin, whereas in supplement or extract form it is closer to 95% curcumin.

Black Pepper Benefits

Black pepper is another very commonly used spice worldwide. It has been used in ancient Ayruvedic medicine for thousands of years due to its high concentration of potent beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Just as turmeric contains the beneficial compound curcumin, black pepper contains its own beneficial compound called piperine. Piperine alone has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Piperine may relieve nausea, headaches, and digestive issues, and can reduce our exposure to free radicals in the environment. Free radicals can be damaging to our bodies and are what lead to inflammation. Another notable benefit of piperine is its ability to significantly increase the absorption of curcumin in the body, rendering it more effective. When taken together, curcumin and piperine are truly a perfect pair.

Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin with Black Pepper

While curcumin itself provides numerous health benefits, it is poorly absorbed in the bloodstream when consumed alone. This means even with your best intentions to consume it on a regular basis, you could be missing out on a lot of its important health benefits.

To maximize curcumin’s absorption and make the most of what you’re taking, it is recommended to consume it with piperine from black pepper. Research suggests that piperine may enhance the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%! This may be due to the fact that piperine allows you to more easily digest curcumin and absorb it directly into your bloodstream.

In order to maximize all of curcumin’s health-promoting properties, it is recommended to combine it with piperine, such as in ZYN CURCUMIN Infused Drinks. ZYN provides refreshment packed with 200mg of curcumin along with piperine to enhance absorption. Due to the high level of curcumin present and added benefits of piperine, these refreshing drinks may reduce your inflammation and boost your overall health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Melissa Mitri weight loss expert


About Melissa Mitri, MS, RDN
Weight Loss Expert

Melissa Mitri is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition, LLC.  In her private practice, Melissa specializes in helping women lose weight and keep it off through simple, sustainable habits. She is a freelance writer for both health professionals and companies alike and is the author of the Ebook “20-Minute Meals for Busy Women.”

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