What active ingredient is found in black pepper extract and how does it affect the metabolism of other medications?
According to the cited reference, piperine is the major constituent of black pepper extract, a popular dietary supplement advertised for its antioxidant properties and nutrient absorption enhancement. Piperine exerts its effects in the enterocytes by inhibiting P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4; thus potentially increasing the serum concentrations of several enzyme substrates like verapamil, cyclosporine A, atorvastatin, and digoxin.
Bhardwaj RK, Glaeser H, Becquemont L, Klotz U, Gupta SK, Fromm MF. Piperine, a major constituent of black pepper, inhibits human P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Aug;302(2):645-50. doi: 10.1124/jpet.102.034728. PMID: 12130727.
Contributed by Sydney Robbins, PharmD Candidate