Bioperine is a patented compound derived from Piper Nigrum, also known as Black Pepper Extract. It contains a standardized 95% piperine which is the main active ingredient in the spice (1). Black Pepper has historically been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders as well as dental or oral dysfunctions, and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. (2) Throughout Asia, black pepper is thought to be a powerful medicinal plant, where it is used to support healthy aging, liver health, circulation, and digestion (3). In modern nutritional supplements formulation, Piperine is used to enhance “bioavailability” or absorption of other ingredients by blocking the process of absorption and excretion in the liver and urine (4).
As an separate ingredient, studies suggest piperine may enhance cognitive function, mood, and decrease symptoms of depression (5).
Piperine has been shown to modify the metabolism of various drugs and supplements. It works by downregulating the release of an enzyme in the liver that processes compounds before urinary excretion (7, 8). Drugs and supplements that are processed in the liver stimulate a process called glucoronidation, which binds to compounds which are then signaled for urinary secretion (9). Piperine has been shown to halt this process of excretion, which in turn, alters the metabolism of these compounds, and can enhance their bioavailability and activity in the body. Early evidence suggests that piperine may also act upon neurotransmitter activities involved in thought formation and memory retention (10).
Piperine is added to various nootropic stacks as a means of enhancing both the absorption in the small intestine and the increasing the effects of other ingredients. Specifically, Piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin, CoQ10, resveratrol (11, 12).