Quest Vitamins LTD,
Issue # 59.2 - Importance of Piperine, Red Clover, Butterbur and Potassium
Red clover may protect DNA?
Red clover has been found to contain beneficial compounds called isoflavones. One such isoflavone is known as biochanin A, which has been shown to possess anti-mutagenic (DNA protection) effects in bacterial cells.
This study was designed to investigate whether biochanin A could protect DNA from injury induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. DNA injury, without an efficient repair mechanism is thought to be responsible for the onset of many diseases.
The results showed that biochanin A present in red clover, could protect DNA from potentially disease-inducing damage.
British Journal of Nutrition 2003, 90, 87-92
Can Potassium Reduce Blood Pressure?
A recent study was designed to investigate whether daily supplementation of potassium would help decrease blood pressure in healthy people. A double-blind placebo controlled trial was performed on fifty-nine volunteers who received either low-dose potassium supplementation or placebo for a period of 6 weeks. During the course of the six weeks, blood pressure (BP) and changes in weight were recorded.
The results showed that low dose daily supplementation with potassium, reduced blood pressure. It was discovered that the dose was equivalent to five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with bananas being particularly high in potassium.
British Journal of Nutrition 2003, 90, 53-60
Butterbur vs. Cetrizine
This study investigated whether there was a difference between butterbur (Petasites hybridus) and cetrizine for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). 125 patients, who suffered from hay fever, were randomly assigned to receive either butterbur tablets (four times daily) or cetrizine (once daily), which is a pharmaceutical treatment for hay fever.
The study lasted for two consecutive weeks and the results showed that while both treatments were effective at relieving the symptoms of hay fever, those taking the butterbur extract experienced fewer side-effects.
In conclusion, it was recommended that butterbur should be considered for treating hay fever when the sedative effects of antihistamines need to be avoided.
BMJ 2002 Jan 19; 324(7330):144-6
Does Black Pepper increase absorption?
Piperine, the active ingredient found in black pepper, has been the subject of many scientific studies regarding its potential ability to increase intestinal absorption. However, the mechanism of this increase is largely unknown and is therefore the purpose of this study.
Piperine has been shown to increase the absorption of many nutrients including coenzyme Q10, beta-carotene and selenium and it was concluded that the mechanism for this may be due to the alteration of intestinal membrane dynamics by piperine.
It was also suggested that piperine could increase the surface area of the small intestine absorptive site by possibly increasing the length of the villi (which are the primary absorptive surface of the small intestine).
Phytomedicine 2002 Apr; 9(3): 224-31