04 May 2012

Black Pepper helps keep obesity in check

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Research now shows that piperine – the substance that gives pepper its characteristic taste block the formation of fat cells.

Soo-Jong Um, Ji-Cheon Jeong and colleagues describe previous studies indicating that piperine reduces fat levels in the bloodstream and has other beneficial health effects. Despite the fact that black pepper has been around for so long scientists have never really studied its properties. Their laboratory studies and computer models found that piperine interferes with the activity of genes that control the formation of new fat cells. In doing so, piperine may also set off a metabolic chain reaction that helps keep fat in check in other ways.

The group suggests that the finding may lead to wider use of piperine or black-pepper extracts in fighting obesity and related diseases. The study has been published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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