Pepper can change your fat

By Dr. Alan Kadish

It’s always a nice touch when another scientific publication  lays out the chemistry of why a natural product that has been used for centuries works. Black pepper has been used in making other natural compounds more effectively absorbed, such as curcumin. Now it’s been found to on it’s own be able to change the nature of how fat metabolism occurs, in a positive way.

This study used fat cells and shows that with a small amount, which could be translated to as little as 1/4 teaspoon per day, which is easy to add to a salad or a soup and certainly cost effective, can decrease your fat.

Although this is but one of many approaches to keeping our waistline from expanding, it’s both non-toxic, inexpensive and tastes good. A comprehensive weight loss program includes the modulation of our hormones, exercise along with proper supplementation would make a larger change.

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Piperine, a component of black pepper, inhibits adipogenesis by antagonizing PPARγ activity in 3T3-L1 cells.

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 18;60(15):3853-60. doi: 10.1021/jf204514a. Epub 2012 Apr 6  

Park UH, Jeong HS, Jo EY, Park T, Yoon SK, Kim EJ, Jeong JC, Um SJ.

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This study investigated the antiadipogenic activity of black pepper extract and its constituent piperine in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms. Both black pepper extract and piperine, without affecting cytotoxicity, strongly inhibited the adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. The mRNA expression of the master adipogenic transcription factors, PPARγ, SREBP-1c, and C/EBPβ, was markedly decreased. Intriguingly, mRNA levels of PPARγ target genes were also down-regulated. Moreover, a luciferase reporter assay indicated that pipierine significantly represses the rosiglitazone-induced PPARγ transcriptional activity. Finally, GST-pull down assays demonstrated that piperine disrupts the rosiglitazone-dependent interaction between PPARγ and coactivator CBP. Genome-wide analysis using microarray further supports the role of piperine in regulating genes associated with lipid metabolism. Overall, these results suggest that piperine, a major component of black pepper, attenuates fat cell differentiation by down-regulating PPARγ activity as well as suppressing PPARγ expression, thus leading to potential treatment for obesity-related diseases.

PMID: 22463744 

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.