There are several potential health benefits of black pepper for the body and brain, and many of them come from the black pepper compound piperine. While there is no extensive human research on the anti-inflammatory benefits of black pepper and piperine, several rodent studies suggest that piperine may help ease inflammation. Although there have not been any human studies to date, several laboratory studies suggest the piperine in black pepper may have cancer-fighting properties. Researchers conducted a study of piglets randomly assigned a diet supplemented with or without black pepper and noted changes during their growing and fattening periods. The researchers believe these results might warrant further studies to explore the potential beneficial effects on lipid metabolism in humans.

Although the chemical composition of black and white peppers has been investigated, so far, no study has determined the chemical components in the pericarp of pepper. When the pericarp is removed from pepper to make white pepper, it is normally discarded. If the pericarp can be used to manufacture other pepper products, it would be economically beneficial. In this study, we identified the chemical components and antioxidant activity of pepper pericarp, and the advantages of using this part of the pepper fruit for food. Several animal studies have shown piperine may improve brain function, particularly for symptoms associated with degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

There is not much scientific evidence to suggest black pepper causes any major health risks and side effects. While consuming too much black pepper may cause digestive distress, this is true of most herbs and spices. And eating large quantities of black pepper may cause burning sensations in the mouth and throat. While much of the research on the benefits of black pepper on health and wellness is preliminary and involves more animals than humans, it is promising and warrants additional studies.

Cayenne peppers are closely related to jalapeño and bell peppers. They are a staple in Southwestern American, Mexican, Cajun, and Creole cuisine. Dried and ground, they make a powdered spice for seasoning and also feature whole in Korean, Sichuan, and other Asian cuisines. Meanwhile, practitioners of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines use cayenne pepper in several ways, including to help treat circulatory problems. The spiciness comes from the pepper’s active ingredient, capsaicin, which is present in many topical preparations for aches and pains in muscles and joints.

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