Can Black Pepper (Piperine) Help with Weight Loss?

Black pepper is a weapon of flavor that has been used for centuries in the kitchen to elevate the taste of foods, but according to experts, that's not all the ingredient is good for, as there have been recent claims that it has the ability to support weight loss. Below, we look at studies evaluating these claims and the ingredient's role in weight loss to determine whether it's worth using black pepper as a weight-loss aid.

key findings

  • Studies show that piperine can improve the absorption of other ingredients by up to 2,000%, making them more effective in their function.
  • Research shows that piperine can stop fat formation, improve metabolic parameters, improve digestion, and promote insulin sensitivity.
  • Results from animal studies show that piperine consumption can reduce body weight, fat mass, and cholesterol level.

Piperine and Weight Loss: The Theory Explained

Black pepper is a spice with quite a distinct flavor, a flavor that comes from its active ingredient called piperine. Piperine has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to manage or treat conditions such as pain, fever, influenza, and more, which is quite a lot, so it didn't come as much of a surprise when theories surrounding weight loss came to surface.

Research shows that piperine stimulates taste buds encouraging the stomach to secrete more hydrochloric acid, an essential nutrient used for digestion. By increasing the production of hydrochloric acid, piperine helps us digest foods more efficiently. This, in turn, increases our metabolisms, which helps us burn fat faster, aiding in weight loss.

Piperine also helps us extract beneficial nutrients from almost everything we consume. For example, one study showed that piperine can increase the absorption of curcumin (turmeric) by up to 2,000%. Now, this means that the effect of turmeric would be accelerated, making it a powerhouse in all its functions.

This is precisely why most fat-burners add piperine to their formulas—to help their more potent fat-burning components work better. Piperine has also been shown to possess the following effects and properties which can benefit weight loss:


Piperine has been shown to boost metabolisms by supporting thermogenic effects (increasing the body's core temperature). This helps us burn fat faster and convert stored fat into energy—weight loss.

Fat inhibiting

Piperine can stop adipogenesis (the creation of new fat cells) by meddling with genes and proteins involved in this process. This prevents fat accumulation in the body, which helps with weight loss and maintenance.

Glucose regulating

Piperine promotes insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent sudden fluctuations. Solving sudden fluctuations stops cravings and overeating, leading to weight loss.

While all these theories are backed by scientific research, there haven't been any human trials demonstrating these exact processes in action.

What do Studies Have to Say 

I found several studies that have investigated the effects of piperine on weight-related outcomes, but most of them have been conducted on animal models or are vitro studies, which means no humans involved. 

Looking at one animal study which involved a group of rats, I found positive outcomes.

For the first 8 weeks of the study, rats were fed a high-fat diet to trigger obesity-induced dyslipidemia (cholesterol issues). After the 8 weeks passed, piperine was administered at 40mg of piperine for every kilo of weight for 3 weeks while the high-fat diet continued. 

Measurements of body weight, fat mass, food consumption, and cholesterol levels were measured at the end of the first 8 weeks of the high-fat diet and after 3 weeks of piperine administration. A comparable difference was noted after the administration of piperine, with a reduction seen in body weight, fat mass, and cholesterol levels, however, food consumption remained the same. 

Researchers concluded that the results suggest piperine possesses potential fat-reducing and lipid-lowering effects but has no effect on appetites. This tells us that supplementation can help support weight loss. However, the dose used is double the amount recommended for humans (5-20 mg daily is generally safe and associated with minimal side effects), and we were dealing with rats here, not humans.

While the findings from animal studies are encouraging, it's important to keep in mind that there are significant biological and physiological differences between animals and humans. These differences, which involve aspects like metabolism, body composition, and genetic expression, can have a big impact on the outcomes of treatments, in this case, piperine, so the effect seen in rats may not necessarily be the same in humans. However, this does not completely invalidate the potential benefits of piperine, as suggested by endocrinologist Michael Jensen from the Mayo Clinic. While these studies form an important base for further investigation, it's important to have human trials to confirm the effects.

They only explored the effects of piperine in combination with other ingredients or supplements, and the results showed moderate weight loss. However, we can't tell if the weight loss effects were due to piperine alone.

Final Word 

After looking at the scientific data, I found that piperine is best used as a support option for weight loss rather than a standalone treatment. We touched on some solid research that suggests piperine can help the absorption of other ingredients and nutrients, among other beneficial effects, which makes it an excellent add-on to any fat-burning formula. 

So, getting a weight loss supplement with piperine already in its formula would benefit weight loss. But if supplements aren't an option for you, you can also get piperine from adding black pepper to foods of your preference—just remember to stay within the safe dosage range, as going over can cause side effects like skin rashes, an upset stomach, or a burning throat or stomach.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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