Doctor's Note

Make sure to watch the "prequel" to this video, yesterday's video. SeeEPIC Study for an example of one of the studies that didn't show results as impressive as expected. For more on the anti-inflammatory nature of plant foods, see Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants and Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods. For more on black pepper, see Is Black Pepper Bad For You?, and for more on turmeric, see Oxalates in Cinnamon. There are 13 other videos on spices and hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects, so please check them out.

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts:  Fighting Inflammation with Food SynergyThe Most Anti-Inflammatory MushroomHow to Enhance Mineral AbsorptionKiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel SyndromeAntioxidants in a Pinch: Dried Herbs and Spices, Lead Poisoning Risk From VenisonCinnamon for DiabetesAnti-Cancer Nutrient Synergy in Cranberries, and Mushrooms and Immunity

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Make sure to watch the “prequel” to this video, yesterday’s video. See EPIC Study for an example of one of the studies that didn’t show results as impressive as expected. For more on the anti-inflammatory nature of plant foods, see Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants and Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods. For more on black pepper, see Is Black Pepper Bad For You?, and for more on turmeric, see Oxalates in Cinnamon. There are 13 other videos on spices and hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects, so please check them out.

  • Tan Truong

    I can use black pepper to increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%? Yes!

    • Tan Truong

       Can black pepper increase bioavailability in anything else besides tumeric?

  • Stephen Path

    Dr. Greger,
    do you have a book which contains some of what you post or information like what is mentioned?

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      I have written a few books, but with such a dynamic field I felt that this sort of online platform would be the best to highlight the latest of the latest science.

  • G S S

    Might be a stupid question – but is the variety measured over the day or over a week?

  • Marcus

    So taking Tumeric supplement not effective?

  • Marcus7w

    Okay just saw the turmeric video. Too much turmeric is high in oxalate. I had kidney stones the past….. tossing out the turmeric supplement.

    • KittyKat 123

      Don’t toss the turmeric!!! Dr. Greger just said turmeric’s bioavailability is increased when black pepper is added to it, which means I will be adding black pepper to the turmeric I fill my capsules with. Great info comes to those who wait!!!

  • ZuZu

    Dr. Greger,

    Do you think the effects here could be explaind by the increased variety leading to higher likelihood of high anti-oxidant fruits and veg in ones diet?  (Instead of synergistic properties)
    My hunch would be that people eating a lower variety of fruits and vegetables are probably more likely to eat low-antioxidant fruits and veg. 

    Is it possible this study is just showing (again) that some veg are better than others?
     If I get in a vegetable rut of kale, red bell peppers, beets, carrots and arugula, would I really benefit from including lower antioxidant veg for variety?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please also check out my associated blog post Fighting Inflammation with Food Synergy

  • wchiwink

    been doing blackpepper- curcuma for years, which really helps prevent or at least greatly reduce the inflammation i can suffer from due to my back injury

  • Shani

    I love the example of pepper raising the effectiveness of turmeric by 2000%. Where could I find more examples like this of food synergy? I googled it and didn’t find much. Thanks so much and I love love your site Dr Greger!

  • Sandy Smith

    We just started taking Turmeric capsules, 500 mg. Instead of pepper, it has a patented ingredient called Meriva. It says it “…uses a specialized extract combined with phosphatidylcholine to help generate greater curcumin bioavailability than common turmeric extracts”. Have you heard of this? Is it true that it is better than pepper?

    • Toxins

      Dr. Greger advises against Turmeric capsules, check out his video for details

      • Sandy Smith

        Thank you for your reply!

      • Bryan

        Meriva is curcumin extracted from turmeric and then processed to increase bioavailability.

        • Toxins

          Adding black pepper to turmeric in food increases the bioavailability of turmeric by 2,000%

  • WholeFoodChomper

    Recently, I had some produce lying around that needed to be used up. I concocted (developed, in the foodie world) an impromptu recipe incorporating turmeric, which I thought (and my BF agreed) was quite yummy. See what you think:

    Small bunch of sliced carrots
    1/2 diced red onion
    1 small red potato
    1 small fennel bulb, diced and sliced
    1/2 Pink Lady apple (might sound odd, but it really works in this recipe)
    ~1 tbls EVOO
    1 teaspoonish dried tarragon
    ~1 tbls turmeric
    pepper to taste
    4 cups veggie broth
    1/4 cup or so of frozen corn
    Lemon (optional)

    Saute first 5 ingredients in EVOO (or water saute if you prefer) until soft and take on color. Add spices and mix together to incorporate flavors. Add broth, and allow all flavors to simmer for a while (I think I let mine simmer about 30 minutes). Blend half the soup. Add corn and stir until thawed out. Serve and enjoy. I squeezed some lemon into my soup, b/c I thought it enhanced the soup’s flavor, but this is optional.

  • Carroll

    I listened to a number of your little videos here and came away with the information that collards and kale are preventative of glaucoma. Most of the others seemed to just make generalizations about diet being related to other eye diseases. There was nothing in the macular degeneration segment that I could take and use to improve this condition in myself. This is a serious disease, yet I have heard that it has been cured by dietary inputs. Surely you can find something more substantive than that “Macular degeneration is related to diet,” or something bland to that effect that you said!

  • lovestobevegan

    Although you can survive on an all potato diet it is important to eat a varied diet. If spinach is your go-to leafy green, substitute the recipe’s spinach with kale, collards, or swiss chard to increase the diversity of your diet. In fact, eating just one serving of collards or kale a month has been shown to lessen your risk of glaucoma by 69% Rather than using your standard apple variety, select a type of apple new to you.

    Mind Your Peas and Curry

    – 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
    – 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
    – 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
    – ½ tsp ground ginger
    – 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
    – 1 tbsp cilantro
    – 2 tbsp curry powder
    – ¼ tsp black pepper
    – 3 cups water/homemade vegetable broth
    – 1 cup red lentils
    – 2 cups snap peas, de-string and chopped
    – 1 lb fresh organic* spinach, chopped
    – 1-2 organic* apples, diced

    Crush and mince garlic and set aside. Cook onions in a dry, uncovered pot over medium heat until soft and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. Stir in ginger, mustard seeds, cilantro, curry powder, and black pepper. Add water and lentils. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until lentils tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in snap peas, spinach, and apple. Serve spooned over wild rice blend or brown basmati rice.

    *Apples rank 1st (most contaminated) for yet another year and spinach ranks #6 (up two from last year’s 8th) in the “dirty dozen: 12 foods to eat organic” so choose organic.

    Bookmark my new Plant-Based Emporium Facebook page for all my latest recipes.

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

  • Tony Gariano

    On The Doctors Show on CBS, they touted drinking milk and to give kids 3 glasses a day. What’s up?

  • Alicia

    I am from Argentina. Reading you want to know if you can tell me about Lupus and food. The pain of inflammatory of the articulation are the worst in this case. Sorry my english please. Waiting for an answer.

    • Thea

      Alicia: I’m sorry to hear you have such a painful disease.

      I did a quick search for “Lupus” on this site and nothing came up. However, I know that there are several videos on this site about inflammation. You may want to do several searches on NutritionFacts of various related topics and similar diseases. You may be able learn something about diet and inflammation that may be helpful to you even if the study wasn’t specifically about Lupus.

      I hope you find that helpful – at least for now until a video on your particular topic comes along. Also, I don’t know if you find hearing English easier or harder than reading it. I thought I would point out that there is a “Transcript” section below each video. (Just in case you hadn’t already seen it.)

      Good luck.

  • Matt N

    turmeric is mild, so you can add a lot of it to food.
    it also makes the food look a lot more appetizing with it’s rich yellow color.

  • MaryL

    If I get some acid reflux and gassiness from a 505mg organic turmeric/black pepper capsule, does this mean that my particular system cannot handle it?

  • Roberta

    I read that black pepper to turmeric should be around 1 to 15 for best absorption

  • NotRappaport

    D’oh! Made a cauliflower, purple potato, chickpea and kale curry tonight. Forgot to add the black pepper.