2002 Volume 32 Pages 31-42
Effect of administering black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn.), one of the commonly consumed spices and its active principle piperine, to high fat fed rats was studied for a period of 10 weeks. Black pepper at two different doses of 250mg/kg body weight and 500mg/kg body weight and piperine at 20mg/kg body weight were made into a coarse solution with distilled water and administered orally by intragastric intubation daily. The plasma and tissue lipid profile showed a remarkable reduction in the levels of total cholesterol (both the free and ester cholesterol fractions), free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides in black pepper as well as in the piperine treated groups. Moreover, supplementation of the high fat fed rats with black pepper or piperine elevated the concentration of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and reduced the concentrations of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol in the plasma as compared with the levels in unsupplemented high fat fed rats. Thus dietary intake of black pepper or piperine was found to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis markedly by virtue of its hypolipidemic and antiatherogenic effects.