Molecular targets of pepper as bioavailability enhancer

  • Published : 2009.12.31


Black pepper (family Piperaceae), is called king of spices because it is one of the oldest spice and alone accounts for about 35% of the world's total spice trade. The pepper is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of various ailments particularly neurological, broncho-pulmonary and gastrointestinal disorders. Pepper has also been reported to have various pharmacological actions but recently, it is highlighted as a bioavailability enhancer. This results in higher plasma concentration of drugs, nutrients, ions and other xenobiotics, rendering them more bioavailable for physiological as well as pharmacological actions in the body. Numerous scientific studies reported that piperine; a main bioactive compound of pepper, is responsible for its bioavailability enhancing property. It's a well known fact that pepper enhances bioavailability by inhibition of microsomal enzyme system but other mechanisms are also responsible to acts as a bioavailability enhancer. The brief overview of the mechanism of action of pepper as well as its applications as bioavailability enhancer is given in the present article.


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