Piperine derived from black pepper increases the plasma levels of coenzyme Q10 following oral supplementation

J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Feb;11(2):109-13. doi: 10.1016/s0955-2863(99)00074-1.


An extract from the fruits of black pepper consisting of a minimum of 98% pure piperine was evaluated in a clinical study using a double-blind design. The relative bioavailability of 90 mg and 120 mg of coenzyme Q10 administered in a single-dose experiment or in separate experiments for 14 and 21 days with placebo or with 5 mg of piperine was determined by comparing measured changes in plasma concentration. The inter-subject variability was minimized by limiting the selection of individuals to healthy adult male volunteers with (presupplementation) fasting coenzyme Q10 values between 0.30 and 0.60 mg/L. The results of the single-dose study and the 14-day study indicate smaller, but not significant, increases in plasma concentrations of coenzyme Q10 in the control group compared with the group receiving coenzyme Q10 with a supplement of piperine. Supplementation of 120 mg coenzyme Q10 with piperine for 21 days produced a statistically significant (p = 0.0348), approximately 30% greater, area under the plasma curve than was observed during supplementation with coenzyme Q10 plus placebo. It is postulated that the bioenhancing mechanism of piperine to increase plasma levels of supplemental coenzyme Q10 is nonspecific and possibly based on its description in the literature as a thermonutrient.