Piperine is a natural ingredient of Piper nigrum (black pepper) and some other Piper species. Compared to the use of pepper for food seasoning, piperine is used in food supplements in an isolated, concentrated form and ingested as a bolus. The present review focuses on the assessment of the possible critical health effects regarding the use of isolated piperine as a single ingredient in food supplements. In human and animal studies with single or short-term bolus application of isolated piperine, interactions with several drugs, in most cases resulting in increased drug bioavailability, were observed. Depending on the drug and extent of the interaction, such interactions may carry the risk of unintended deleteriously increased or adverse drug effects. Animal studies with higher daily piperine bolus doses than in human interaction studies provide indications of disturbance of spermatogenesis and of maternal reproductive and embryotoxic effects. Although the available human studies rarely reported...

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