Piperine Improves Obesity by Inhibiting Fatty Acid Absorption and Repairing Intestinal Barrier Function

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2021 Dec;76(4):410-418. doi: 10.1007/s11130-021-00919-2. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Currently, the weight loss effects of piperine have gained considerable attention; however, the underlying mechanism needs to be comprehensively elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between the weight loss effects of piperine and intestinal function. Based on the obtained results, piperine inhibited intestinal fatty acid absorption in both cellular and animal models. The underlying mechanism may be related to the downregulation of fatty acid absorption-related genes, fatty acid-binding protein 2 and cluster of differentiation 36, but not fatty acid transport protein 4. In addition, piperine repaired the tight junction damage induced by obesity by downregulating jejunal tumor necrosis factor-α and reducing lipopolysaccharide-induced damage on intestinal cell proliferation, thus enhancing intestinal barrier function, which is beneficial in reducing chronic inflammation associated with obesity. In conclusion, the anti-obesity effect of piperine is related to the enhancement of intestinal barrier function and inhibition of intestinal fatty acid absorption.

Keywords: Fatty acid absorption; Intestinal barrier; Obesity; Piperine.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids
  • Animals
  • Benzodioxoles / metabolism
  • Benzodioxoles / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids* / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Piperidines
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides* / metabolism
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides* / pharmacology


  • Alkaloids
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Fatty Acids
  • Piperidines
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • piperine