Black Pepper Fruit Extract or Bioperine can indirectly improve your performance in the gym by increasing the bioavailability of your supplements to get the most out of whatever it is you’re taking.

Many supplements and preworkout brands have added black pepper fruit extract or Bioperine for consumers to get the most out of the added ingredients.

For over two decades this addition has been recognized as a bioavailability enhancer, making it an attractive ingredient for a variety of capactities.

Black Pepper has been used for centuries to combat various ailments and is generally recognized as being safe.

Black Pepper Fruit Extract (Bioperine): The Performance Enhancement Enhancer

Some supplements lack oral bioavailability — with some being more notorious than others. As a result, black pepper fruit extract has been called upon to assist with getting the most out of certain supplements.

According to Bioperine’s official website: “In the view of safety concerns, many natural nutrients with the ability to influence the bioavailability are in the pursuit. In the scenario, scientists identified the unique property of black pepper to improve the absorption and metabolism of nutrients when they are administered together. Black pepper extract has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins (β-carotene), water-soluble vitamins (vitamin-C), selenoamino acid, coenzyme Q10, resveratrol and Curcumin (Fernández-Lázaro et al., 2020) . The property has been linked to its influence on xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes (biotransformation) and thermogenic effect. It was found that piperine was the key component behind the bioavailability enhancing the character of black pepper extract (Vladimir et al., 1999).”

How it works state: “Various key mechanisms have been proposed for the bioavailability enhancing ability of the black pepper extract. Important mechanisms include inhibition of P-glycoprotein, inhibition of enzymes involved in glucuronidation, and thermogenesis.

P-glycoprotein is a transmembrane permeability glycoprotein involved in the transport of nutrients and xenobiotics across the cell membrane of intestinal epithelial cells, renal proximal tubular cells, capillary endothelial cells, and hepatocytes. It is a member of ATP binding cassette proteins and works by energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. It has been shown that piperine inhibits its ability to translocate various components.

Glucuronidation is a process in xenobiotic metabolism, where xenobiotics (including drugs) are added with a molecule of UDP-glucose to render them inactive, more soluble, and easily excretable form. Hence, many components are metabolized by this process and become less bioavailable. Piperine has been found to affect the glucuronidation by lowering the endogenous UDP-glucuronic acid (the main component used in glucuronidation) and by inhibiting the activities of the transferring enzymes.

Thermogenesis is a metabolic process that generates energy at the cellular level in the human body and has been identified as a key factor in utilizing the dietary food and nutrients that the human body consumes. Piperine in the black pepper extract enhances the thermogenesis and in turn, affects the absorption of components in the intestine (Mhaske et al., 2018).”

Aside from improving bioavailability, there are other health benefits to be reaped from black pepper fruit extract.