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Unmasking black pepper's secrets as a fat fighter

Date:
May 2, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A new study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research pinpoints piperine -- the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine also can block the formation of new fat cells.

Black pepper.
Credit: Frog 974 / Fotolia

A new study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research, published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pinpoints piperine -- the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine also can block the formation of new 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. Black pepper and the black pepper plant, they note, have been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine to treat gastrointestinal distress, pain, inflammation and other disorders. Despite that long medicinal history, scientists know little about how piperine works on the innermost molecular level. The scientists set out to get that information about piperine's anti-fat effects.

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 authors acknowledge funding from the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ui-Hyun Park, Hong-Suk Jeong, Eun-Young Jo, Taesun Park, Seung Kew Yoon, Eun-Joo Kim, Ji-Cheon Jeong, Soo-Jong Um. Piperine, a Component of Black Pepper, Inhibits Adipogenesis by Antagonizing PPARγ Activity in 3T3-L1 Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (15): 3853 DOI: 10.1021/jf204514a

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Unmasking black pepper's secrets as a fat fighter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502123520.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, May 2). Unmasking black pepper's secrets as a fat fighter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502123520.htm
American Chemical Society. "Unmasking black pepper's secrets as a fat fighter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502123520.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

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