Newsletters - May 2003

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BioPerine® and Cosmoperine®enhance nutrient absorption

Do all nutritional supplements consumed, or all topically applied products provide optimal health benefits? A lot depends upon how well they are absorbed along their delivery route. Bioavailability encompasses availablity, absorption, retention and utilization of nutrients. Absorption in the body is a key factor for the nutrient to be biologically effective.

BioPerine®is a standardized extract from the fruits of Piper nigrum L. (black pepper) or Piper longum L. (long pepper). It contains a minimum piperine content of 95% compared to the 3-9% and 3-5% found in raw forms of Piper nigrum and Piper longum, respectively. BioPerine® may be coadministered with various nutrients for both human and animal health.

When optimal oral delivery of nutrients is required, BioPerine®may be co-administered in low amounts (5 mg) with the nutrient’s to increase absorption and bioavailability. The efficacy of BioPerine® in this regard is supported by clinical data as shown in Figures1-4. BioPerine® has been termed a natural "Thermonutrient" and bioavailability enhancer . Nutritional materials which may be co-administered with Bioperine®, include the following groups :

  • Herbal extracts: (for example. Curcuminoids, Boswellia serrata extract, Ashwagandha, Ginkgo biloba extract, capsaicin, bioflavonoids and others)
  • Water-soluble vitamins : (for example vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Niacinamide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Folic acid and Vitamin C)
  • Fat-soluble vitamins : (for example. vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K)
  • Antioxidants : (for example. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, alphacarotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin, pine bark bioflavonoids complex, germanium, selenium and zinc).
  • Amino acids : (for example. lysine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, and methionine)
  • Minerals: (for example calcium, iron, zinc, vanadium, selenium, chromium, iodine, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium).

BioPerine®enhances nutrient absorption by inducing thermogenesis, the production of heat energy associated with the digestion of food. This process, also called "food-induced thermogenesis", is attributed to the pungent principle piperine.

Sabinsa Corporation was granted four US patents and an International (European) patent on the use and manufacturing process for BioPerine® U.S. Patent #s. 6,054,585 (2000), 5,972,382 (1999), 5,744,161 (1998) and 5,536,506 (1996);

EP 0810868 (2001)-Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, France, Denmark, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria Other International patents are pending.

Cosmoperine®is derived from black pepper or long pepper extract contains a minimum of 98% Tetrahydropiperine. When nutrients need to be delivered through the skin, Cosmoperine® added in low amounts (0.01-0.1%) to cosmetic formulations or topical delivery systems enhances the uptake and bioavailability of actives in the formulation.

Cosmoperine®is Tetrahydropiperine, prepared from black pepper or long pepper extract by a patent pending process. Its use in improving the skin penetration of active compounds is also covered by the pending patent.

Laboratory studies with betamethasone dipropionate (BMDP), a steroidal antiinflammatory agent that is commonly used in topical anti-inflammatory formulations, revealed faster absorption of the drug when combined with Tetrahydropiperine.

Similar enhanced permeation was observed in studies with other active materials including Coleus forskohlii extract (forskolin). For example, the permeation of forskolin was enhanced when the concentration of Cosmoperine® was 5% of Forskolin concentration.

In view of these properties, Cosmoperine® is a potential transdermal "bioavailability" enhancer when co-administered topically with nutrients or other active compounds. Carotenoids, ascorbic acid, vitamin A, mineral nutrients,7-keto DHEA, herbal extracts, amino acids and other topically beneficial nutraceuticals, may be better absorbed in the presence of Cosmoperine® in the formulation.

Cosmoperine®does not irritate the skin when used in cosmetic formulations, as revealed by an occlusive patch test performed on human volunteers.


  1. Badmaev, V. And Majeed, M. (2001 Jan/Feb) Skin as a delivery system for nutrients, nutraceuticals and drugs. THP a natural compound with the potential to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and drugs through the skin. Agro-Industry Hi-Tech. 6-10.

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  • Sabinsa Corporation
    20 Lake Drive
    East Windsor
    NJ 08520, USA

  • +1 732 777 1111
  • +1 732 777 1443


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