Black pepper grows from a tall vine referred to as the pepper plant. The pepper plant produces small clusters of flowers that form into berry-like morsels known as peppercorns. When the peppercorns are ground into grain or powder, they produce typical table pepper (black pepper). The main ingredient in black pepper that helps with arthritis symptoms is piperine, a phenolic compound. This is made up of one or more phenolic acids. Piperine has the unique ability to decrease certain pro-inflammatory mediators in the body. These include prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).
Black pepper is especially effective at reducing the symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis. This is because piperine destroys inflammatory cells that occur in the cartilage that should protect and lubricate the ends of an individual's bones in their joints. Furthermore, black pepper also reduces the sensitivity of a particular type of pain receptor in the body. This helps black pepper reduce arthritis symptoms.
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