Black pepper dietary supplementation increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in pigs


Background: Black pepper, the briefly cooked and dried unripe fruits of Piper nigrum L. has broad culinary applications around the world and has been considered as the “king of spices”. In recent years, studies have shown that a diet supplemented with black pepper not only improves digestion but also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as the ability to regulate levels of serum lipids.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with milled black pepper on serum lipoproteins, three anti-oxidant status-related parameters (serum vitamin C, polyphenols, and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging capacity), average daily growth, and food intake in growing and fattening pigs.

Study design/Methods: Two groups of randomly assigned piglets with a body weight of each 30 kg (17 animals per group, 34 animals overall) of Bulgarian Danube White breed were subject to feeding a diet supplemented with or without black pepper. As feed additive, milled black pepper at a dose of 3 g/kg food weight was mixed into standardized food to continuously feed the animals gaining weight to 100 kg. The changes in lipoproteins and anti-oxidant index were examined both in the growing and fatting periods.

Results: The results of the measured serum profile in the black pepper diet group showed i) a significant increase of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and ii) a significant increase of vitamin C in comparison with the group fed a normal diet. Supplementation with black pepper also showed a tendency to improve daily food intake and decrease average daily growth of pigs (both without reaching statistical significance) during both the growing period and the fattening period.

Conclusion: Dietary intake of black pepper might lead to positive effects on blood lipid regulation and anti-oxidant capacity. Overall the gained data in our study suggest that black pepper can be used as a natural food additive to support animal health. Moreover, the results obtained from this porcine model might hint for potential beneficial effects on lipid metabolism in humans and thus warrant further exploratory studies.

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Yang Yang, Danail Kanev, Radka Nedeva, Artur Jozwik, Judith M. Rollinger, Weronika Grzybek, Bożena Pyzel, Andy Wai Kan Yeung, Pavel Uhrin, Johannes M. Breuss, Jaroslaw O. Horbanczuk, Clemens Malainer, Tao Xu, Dongdong Wang, Atanas G. Atanasov, Black pepper dietary supplementation increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in pigs, Current Research in Biotechnology, Volume 1, 2019, Pages 28-33,

Keywords: Piper nigrum, Black pepper, Growing pigs, Lipoproteins, Anti-oxidants, Cardiovascular diseases, CVD, food spices, dietary additives, food supplements, serum vitamin C, vitamins, HDL, high-density lipoprotein, feed additives to support animal health.

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