Powerful Pepper + Turmeric

Image Credit: Steven Jackson Photography / Flickr

What about pepper plus turmeric in V8 juice?

I stirred 1 teaspoon of powdered amla into my daily glass of V8 juice, along with a sprinkle of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric – tasted OK.

soupy / Originally posted below Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterol


That’s an even better idea than you might know! Check out my video on food synergy Garden Variety Anti-Inflammation and my blog post Fighting Inflammation With Food Synergy, documenting evidence that when certain foods are eaten together the sum of nutritive value may be greater than the parts. And there is indeed an amazing reaction that takes place between the phytonutrients in black pepper and turmeric. Eating black pepper at the same time as turmeric boosts the bioavailability of curcumin–the chief purported cancer fighter in turmeric–by (you sitting down?) 2000%!

My only suggestion would be to choose the low-salt V8, as there is new evidence on just how bad sodium may be for the heart. See also my video Salt OK if Blood Pressure is OK?

Image credit: Steven Jackson Photography / Flickr


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

13 responses to “What about pepper plus turmeric in V8 juice?

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  1. Hi Dr. Greger,

    Most mornings I add 1 table spoon of unfiltered flaxseed oil, mixed with turmeric and pepper. I add the turmeric to the flaxseed oil because turmeric is fat soluble, and because, as I understand it, turmeric does not survive in the upper digestive acids. By mixing turmeric in a healthy fat, I’m hoping the turmeric will make it to my lower digestive system where fats are digested and improve the bioavailability of the curcumin/turmeric. Do you think my theory holds water?

    Matt M of Boston.

    1. It is best to avoid including added fats in the form of empty calories into our diet, as most of the benefit from the whole food is lost.

      This 2 year study looked at coronary artery lesions of the heart after
      consuming different types of fat. Polyunsaturated fat (what makes up flaxseed oil) Monounsaturated fat (75% of which makes up olive oil) and Saturated fat (the kind found in mostly animal products). They looked at angiograms a year apart after intervening with increasing one type of fat in each group. All 3 fats were associated with a significant increase in new atherosclerosis lesions. Most importantly, the growth of these lesions did not stop when polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats were substituted for saturated fats. Only by decreasing all fat intake including the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats did the lesions stop growing.


      1. Dear Toxins,

        Thank you for the information, however, the addition of flaxseed oil to my breakfast smoothie (forgot to mention I add it to a fruit and veggie smoothie) is not on top of other fats. On any given day, I eat, almost exactly, the FDA recommended daily allowance of fat. I’ve eaten almost exclusively vegan for months now, so my sources of fats have been nuts, seeds, avocados, peanuts, extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil. Although, I’m not perfect, I hover around the FDA daily limit on fats.

        Within that fat limit, I add turmeric and pepper to flaxseed oil in order to increase the bioavailability of the turmeric. (Curcumin) Hopefully, my fat intake is healthy. I am certainly concerned about atherosclerosis, but for this question in particular, I am hoping to learn about the bioavailability of turmeric/curcumin. My understanding is that turmeric does not survive in the upper digestive track, so taking a turmeric supplement without an enteric coating is nearly useless. I want the benefits that turmeric has to offer, but I can’t find an enteric coated turmeric pill on the market, so… I began problem solving. Turmeric, pepper and flaxseed oil is what I’ve been experimenting with. Again, my theory is that the flax seed oil/fat will help more of the fat soluble turmeric make it to my lower digestive system where it can be absorbed properly. Do you think this theory holds water?

        Again, thanks for the info.

        Matt M…

        1. Look at the USDA Daily values for fats as limits, not as required percentages to achieve. The only fat you need is omega 3 and 6. You only need 1.6 grams of omega 3 and 6. This would register at 4-5% of the USDA DV for total fat. All other fats are produced by your body and eating saturated fats is harmful. I have not heard any science regarding your turmeric theory, nor would i assume that turmeric is destroyed in the upper intestines. If your trying to increase the bioavailibilty of antioxidants, then sprinkling a few seeds or nuts on your food would be more then sufficient.

    2. I think what your doing by mixing turmeric with black pepper is great, taking it with flaxseed oil is also a good idea.. as to wether the turmeric will make it to the lower GI is debatable, however I wouldn’t worry about that so much when you add black pepper to the mix. Also you don’t want to make the mix too viable as there could be an issue with minor toxicity.. I’d say keep doing what your doing

  2. I read a lot of research articles that say curcumin is not very bioavailable. Aren’t we wasting our time on something that does not even get absorbed? Why so many articles?

    1. Together with turmeric (curcumin) and Black pepper (piperine) may increase the bioavailability of curcumin up to 2,000% or 20 times.

      2,000% is very bioavailable.

      1. I’ve heard that taking tumeric with ginger is better than taking tumeric with black pepper. Has anyone heard of this or have any resources to share showing which is better?

        1. Hello,

          where did you get that information from?

          I personally never heard of it and never found any infromation about this in terms of better absorbtion. They are both anti-inflammatory, so maybe that’s what you are reffering to, am I right?

          Moderator Adam P.

  3. By watching your videos I could learn how important it is to load our body with huge amounts of antioxidants, specially in the morning.

    However, how much of it is absorbed by the body and how much wind out into the toilet?

  4. Is this safe to give to a man taking diabetes medication? With his meds, it won’t drive his glucose too low? Just to a normal-low, and not into diabetic shock? (In one week concoction appears to have driven MY fasting glucose from normal-high to normal-low (75), so I am hoping it might be okay for him.)

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