by Madeline Haller May 18, 2012,
Sprinkle on black pepper, shrink your gut? Maybe. The spice has the ability to block the formation of new fat cells, says lab research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Researchers grew a type of cells destined to become fats cells in a petri dish and exposed them to piperine—a pungent ingredient in black pepper—for 72 hours.
The results: The exposure to piperine interfere with the formation of new fat cells. It also reduced lipid storage in the cells—which is good for revealing those abs, since the lack of lipids prevents these cells from being stored as fat.
Since this was only observed in petri dishes, we’re obviously not recommending you start downing black pepper like it’s a miracle drug. But the researchers did note that previous animal studies found black pepper to be effective at reducing triglyceride accumulation in the liver (which helps decrease your risk for liver disease) and reducing levels of glucose in the blood, which plays a role in preventing diabetes.
To rep the biggest benefits of piperine, buy black peppercorns and grind them yourself. According to additional research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, whole black peppercorns pack the largest amount of piperine per serving compared to other forms of the spice.