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|Molar mass||285.34 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||130 °C (266 °F; 403 K)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Piperine, along with its isomer chavicine, is the alkaloid responsible for the pungency of black pepper and long pepper. It has also been used in some forms of traditional medicine and as an insecticide. Piperine forms monoclinic needles, is slightly soluble in water (1 g/25 L (18 °C)), and is highly soluble in alcohol (1 g/15 mL), ether (1 g/36 mL) and chloroform (1 g/1.7 mL). The solution in alcohol has a pepper-like taste.
Piperine is commercially available. If desired, it may be extracted from black pepper using dichloromethane. Aqueous hydrotopes can be used in the extraction to result in high yield and selectivity. The amount of piperine varies from 1-2% in long pepper, to 5-10% in commercial white and black peppers. Further, it may be prepared by treating the solvent-free residue from an alcoholic extract of black pepper, with a solution of potassium hydroxide to remove resin (said to contain chavicine, an isomer of piperine) and solution of the washed, insoluble residue in warm alcohol, from which the alkaloid crystallises on cooling.
Piperine yields salts only with strong acids. The platinichloride B4•H2PtCl6 forms orange-red needles. ("B" denotes one mole of the alkaloid base in this and the following formulae.) Iodine in potassium iodide added to an alcoholic solution of the base in the presence of a little hydrochloric acid gives a characteristic periodide, B2•HI•I2, crystallising in steel-blue needles, mp. 145 °C.
Piperine was discovered in 1819 by Hans Christian Ørsted, who isolated it from the fruits of Piper nigrum, the source plant of both the black and white pepper grains. Flückiger and Hanbury found piperine in Piper longum and Piper officinarum (Miq.) C. DC. (=Piper retrofractum Vahl), two species called "long pepper". West African pepper also contains piperine.
Anderson first hydrolysed piperine by alkalis into a base and an acid, which were later named piperidine and piperic acid respectively. The alkaloid was first synthesised by the action of piperoyl chloride on piperidine.
The full mechanism of piperine's bioavailability-enhancing abilities is unknown. But it has been found to inhibit human CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein, enzymes important for the metabolism and transport of xenobiotics and metabolites. In animal studies, piperine also inhibited other CYP 450 enzymes important for drug metabolism. By inhibiting certain enzyme metabolism, piperine may alter the effectiveness of certain medications by increasing the bioavailability of various compounds. Notably, piperine may enhance bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% in humans (which is a 20-fold increase, as 100% is just normal absorption), most likely due to inhibition of glucuronidation by the enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase in the liver and small intestine. Chemopreventive efficacy of curcumin and piperine has been shown during 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.
Piperine has shown "anti-depression like activity" and cognitive-enhancing effects in rats.
Piperine has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects in human interleukin-1beta-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes and in rat arthritis models.
Piperine also possesses anti-angiogenic activities.
- Piperidine, a cyclic six-membered amine that results from hydrolysis of piperine
- Capsaicin, the active piquant chemical in chili peppers
- Allyl isothiocyanate, the active piquant chemical in mustard, radishes, horseradish, and wasabi
- Allicin, the active piquant flavor chemical in raw garlic and onions (see those articles for discussion of other chemicals in them relating to pungency, and eye irritation)
- Merck Index, 11th Edition, 7442
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- Gaikar. Process for extraction of piperine from piper species. US 6365601, April 2, 2002.
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- Pharmacographia (London: Macmillan & Co., 1879), p. 584.
- Stenhouse in Pharm. J., 1855, 14, 363.
- Annalen, 1850, 75, 82; 84, 345, cf. Wertheim and Rochleder, ibid., 1845, 54, 255.
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- Rugheimer, Ber., 1882, 15, 1390.
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- Johnson, J. J.; Nihal, M; Siddiqui, I. A.; Scarlett, C. O.; Bailey, H. H.; Mukhtar, H; Ahmad, N (2011). "Enhancing the bioavailability of resveratrol by combining it with piperine". Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 55 (8): 1169–76. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201100117. PMC 3295233. PMID 21714124.
- Faas, L.; Venkatasamy, R.; Hider, R. C.; Young, A. R.; Soumyanath, A. (2008). "In vivo evaluation of piperine and synthetic analogues as potential treatments for vitiligo using a sparsely pigmented mouse model". British Journal of Dermatology 158 (5): 941–50. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08464.x. PMID 18284389.
- "Pepper 'to treat pigment disease'". BBC News. 2008-02-14.
- Wattanathorna, Jintanaporn; Pennapa Chonpathompikunlertb; Supaporn Muchimapuraa; Aroonsri Pripremc; Orathai Tankamnerdthai (September 2008). "Piperine, the potential functional food for mood and cognitive disorders". Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (9): 3106–3110. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2008.06.014. PMID 18639606.
- Bang JS, Oh DH, Choi HM, et al. Anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic effects of piperine in human interleukin 1β-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes and in rat arthritis models, Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 Mar 30;11(2):R49.
- Doucette CD, Hilchie AL, Liwski R, Hoskin DW. J Nutr Biochem 2013;24:231-239.