Pass the pepper please! A new study has some spicy good news. One of black pepper’s micro-nutrient ingredients may play a role in halting the formation of fat cells.
The research, recently published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, reveals that piperine, the pungent substance that gives black pepper its characteristic bite, can also be a fat-fighter. Korean university scientists, intrigued by black pepper’s long association as an anti-inflammatory ingredient sometimes used to treat intestinal disorders in Eastern medicine, set out to investigate the potential potency of piperine on a molecular level.
Their laboratory studies and computer models noted that piperine interferes with the genetic activity that leads to the formation of new fat cells. In doing so, the researchers suggested that piperine may set off a metabolic chain reaction that keeps fat in check.
But before you give a few extra twists to the pepper mill at dinner, keep in mind that the research probably needs more specific investigation and study to see how potent the spice really is. The researchers noted the findings could lead to additional research on the use of piperine in efforts to treat obesity and promote weight loss.