Category: Supplements

Dangerous Drug Interactions from BioPerine Additive

Dangerous Drug Interactions from BioPerine Additive

Dangers of Bioperine Drug Interactions

Dangers of the Supplement Additive BioPerine

As doctors warn it can cause a dangerous reaction with a host of common drugs… Toxic truth about the supplement additive BioPerine®

Researchers warn that BioPerine® reacts with many medicines

The additive can cause devastating side-effects from stomach bleeding to kidney problems. Doctors say the public is ignorant to the dangers and putting themselves needlessly at risk.

By Dr. Darren Shire

Eating a breakfast containing half of a grapefruit has long been seen as one of the healthiest ways to start the day, a virtuous alternative to tucking into cereal or a cooked breakfast. But could this supposed ‘superfood’, which is packed with vital vitamins and minerals, really be doing you more harm than good?

It’s long been understood that grapefruit reacts with a large number of medicines taken by millions of Americans every day, causing devastating side-effects ranging from stomach bleeding to kidney problems, muscle aches and irregular heartbeats.

Researchers have discovered that the vitamin & supplement additive BioPerine® reacts in the exact same way with the human body.

Doctors say the public are woefully ignorant about the dangers of mixing BioPerine® with medicine and that many are putting themselves needlessly at risk.

So what is the truth behind the scare, and how can such a ‘healthy’ additive pose such a threat?

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?black-pepper-bioperine-peperine-dangers

Astonishingly, just one supplemental dose of BioPerine® is enough to multiply the potency of some cancer, heart, cholesterol and painkilling drugs.

More than 20 years ago doctors discovered that grapefruit makes some prescriptions dangerously strong. But since then, the list of medicines affected by the fruit has soared.

Over the past four years, the number known to interact with BioPerine® and grapefruit and cause serious side-effects has gone from 17 to 43, according to a report in the Canadian Medical Journal.

In the UK, almost all of those drugs are available on prescription (see table below). Another 42 medicines are thought to have milder, although still disturbing, side-effects.

Doctors are supposed to advise patients about the risks, while the warning also appears on patient leaflets that accompany drugs. But sometimes, amid the flurry of information that patients get when prescribed a new drug, the warning is overlooked or quickly forgotten.

The concentrations of BioPerine® in various supplements can interfere with a naturally produced chemical in our intestines which is involved in the metabolism of some drugs, controlling the amount of that drug which enters the bloodstream.

And the side-effects of BioPerine®-related overdoses can be horrendous. Some patients suffer low blood pressure and immune system collapse.


Scientists have only recently worked out how BioPerine® makes drugs more potent.

The problem lies in chemicals called furanocoumarins. These are produced by plants often as a defence mechanism against predators. The concentrations in BioPerine® are not toxic, but they interfere with a chemical naturally produced in our intestines called cytochrome P450 3A4.

This enzyme sits in the lining of the intestines and is involved in the metabolism of some drugs, controlling the amount that enters the bloodstream. Drug companies have to increase the dosage of some tablets to compensate for the action of the enzyme.

Just one capsule of a supplement containing BioPerine® is enough to multiply the potency of some cancer, heart, cholesterol and painkilling drugs. However, if furanocoumarins are present in the intestine, they stop cytochrome P450 3A4 from working. As a result, more of the drug gets into the bloodstream and a patient is at risk of an overdose.

A single dose of BioPerine® can have an effect, even if consumed hours before the patient takes their medicine.

The effects of mixing medicine and BioPerine® can be dramatic. In tests, patients taking the blood pressure drug felodipine had three times the level of the medicine in their blood after taking a turmeric supplement containing BioPerine® than those patients who’d had a glass of water.

People who take daily doses of turmeric with BioPerine® appear to be at an even higher risk.

Dr. Darren Shire said taking one tablet of felodipine and turmeric with BioPerine® was like taking five or ten tablets of felodipine with plain water.

Researchers have shown that taking the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin with a single capsule of trumeric-curcumin containing BioPerine® every day for three days increased the drug’s concentration in the blood three-fold.


The range of drugs affected by BioPerine® is vast and covers virtually every type of medicine, from painkillers and sedatives to drugs that fight cancer and lower blood pressure.

One of the most common groups are the statins — simvastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin — taken by millions of Americans to lower cholesterol.

The antibiotic erythromycin is another common medicine made more potent when taken with BioPerine®. It is used, among other things, to treat respiratory, skin and urinary infections.

The drug is not particularly toxic, but an overdose can cause nasty symptoms including stomach upsets. And, crucially, too much erythromycin in the blood interferes with the way other drugs work.

The blood-thinning drug clopidogrel is also on the list. It is commonly prescribed after heart attacks, strokes or angina. Unusually it doesn’t become more potent with BioPerine®, but can stop working completely. The list of dangerous medicines also includes antipsychotic drugs — including treatments for anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — drugs for kidney, skin and blood cancers, blood-thinning medication and painkillers.

The one thing that all the drugs have in common is that they are taken orally, usually as pills.


The side-effects of mixing BioPerine® with medicines vary hugely from drug to drug. But some can be deadly. Overdosing on cancer drugs, antibiotics and some antipsychotic drugs can cause irregular heart rhythms and even sudden death.

High doses of anti-cancer drugs can suppress the activity of bone marrow, which creates blood cells and fights infection — putting people with weakened immune systems at further risk of illness. Stomach bleeding can result from an overdose of blood-thinning drugs such as apixaban and rivaroxaban.

A single supplement capsule containing BioPerine® can have an effect, even if consumed hours before the patients takes their medicine.

Overdosing on statins can lead to the painful and potentially dangerous breakdown of muscle tissue. As muscle proteins enter the blood, it can put the kidneys under extreme strain and may lead to kidney failure. Other symptoms include muscle pain and swelling, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Older people — who are less able to tolerate overdoses — are more likely to become seriously ill as a result.


BioPerine® is the biggest threat at this point.


Seville oranges, used to make marmalade, and limes contain the same active ingredients that cause the drug problems.

One patient in Dr Bailey’s study suffered from kidney problems while taking the drug tacrolimus to suppress their immune system after an organ transplant.

He had eaten a staggering 1.5kg of marmalade during the preceding week — more than enough to make the drugs more potent.

Past research by Dr Bailey showed that orange and apple juices may reduce the effectiveness of drugs used to treat cancer, heart conditions and high blood pressure.

In tests, beta-blockers, antibiotics and hay fever treatments were all weakened by juice drunk up to two hours previously.

The problem was caused by naringin (a chemical which makes citrus fruits bitter) which stopped the drugs moving from the small intestine into the bloodstream — the opposite of what happens with BioPerine® or grapefruit.


Dr Graham Archard, spokesman for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: ‘It is vital that people do not ignore this. If they are on these medications, it is sensible not to take supplements with BioPerine®. While you may not have had problems in the past, that doesn’t mean you won’t get them in the future.

Dasatinib (leukaemia)
Erlotinib (lung cancer and pancreatic cancer)
Everolimus (kidney cancer)
Lapatinib (breast cancer)
Nilotinib (leukaemia)
Pazopanib (kidney cancer)
Sunitinib (kidney/gastrointestinal cancer)
Vandetanib (thyroid cancer)
Venurafenib (skin cancer)

Erythromycin (antibiotic)
Halofantrine (malaria)
Maraviroc (HIV)
Primaquine (malaria)
Quinine (malaria)
Rilpivirine (HIV)


Amiodarone (heart rhythm disorders)
Apixaban (anti-clotting)
Dronedarone (heart rhythm disorders)
Eplerenone (heart failure)
Felodipine (high blood pressure/angina)
Nifedipine (high blood pressure/angina)
Quinidine (heart rhythm disorder)
Rivaroxaban (anti-blood clotting)
Ticagrelor (anti-blood clotting after heart attack)

Oral Alfentanil (painkiller)
Oral fentanyl (painkiller)
Oral ketamine (painkiller, sedative)
Lurasidone (schizophrenia/mental health problems)
Oxycodone (painkiller)
Pimozide (schizophrenia/other mental health problems)
Ziprasidone (schizophrenia, mania, bipolar disorder)

Domperidone (anti-nausea)

Cyclosporine (post organ transplant, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis)
Sirolimus (post organ transplant)
Tacrolimus (post organ transplant)

Solifenacin (urinary frequency/incontinence)
Silodosin (enlarged prostate)
Tamsulosin (enlarged prostate)

Multi-Ingredient Dietary Supplement Stops Brain Cell Loss in Mice

Multi-Ingredient Dietary Supplement Stops Brain Cell Loss in Mice

Multi-Ingredient Dietary Supplement Stops Brain Cell Loss in Mice

A multi-ingredient dietary supplement abolishes large-scale brain cell loss, improves sensory function, and prevents neuronal atrophy in aging mice.

Below is the abstract from NIH’s PubMed system. The abstract was published on May 20, 2016. This has tremendous potential for Alzheimer’s patients. The specific combination of vitamins & supplements has basically reversed Alzheimer’s in mice. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the researchers continue to see positive results.

Abstract: Transgenic growth hormone mice (TGM) are a recognized model of accelerated aging with characteristics including chronic oxidative stress, reduced longevity, mitochondrial dysfunction, insulin resistance, muscle wasting, and elevated inflammatory processes. Growth hormone/IGF-1 activate the Target of Rapamycin known to promote aging. TGM particularly express severe cognitive decline. We previously reported that a multi-ingredient dietary supplement (MDS) designed to offset five mechanisms associated with aging extended longevity, ameliorated cognitive deterioration and significantly reduced age-related physical deterioration in both normal mice and TGM. Here we report that TGM lose more than 50% of cells in midbrain regions, including the cerebellum and olfactory bulb. This is comparable to severe Alzheimer’s disease and likely explains their striking age-related cognitive impairment. We also demonstrate that the MDS completely abrogates this severe brain cell loss, reverses cognitive decline and augments sensory and motor function in aged mice. Additionally, histological examination of retinal structure revealed markers consistent with higher numbers of photoreceptor cells in aging and supplemented mice. We know of no other treatment with such efficacy, highlighting the potential for prevention or amelioration of human neuropathologies that are similarly associated with oxidative stress, inflammation and cellular dysfunction.

lab mouse

Table 1 (from previous study detailing ingredients in mice dietary supplement). Formulation of a Dietary Supplement Designed to Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, Maintain Membrane and Mitochondrial Integrity, and Enhance Insulin Sensitivity.

Supplement / Dosage

Vitamin B1(b) 0.72 mg/day

Vitamin B3(b) 0.72 mg/day

Vitamin B6(b) 0.72 mg/day

Vitamin B12(b) 0.72 mcg/day

Vitamin C(b) 3.6 mg/day

Vitamin D(b) 2.5 IU/day

Vitamin E(b) 1.44 IU/day

Acetyl L-carnitine(c) 14.4 mg/day

Alpha-lipoic acid(e) 0.72 mg/day

ASA(d) 2.5 mg/day

Beta carotene(b) 50.0 IU/day

Bioflavinoids(h) 4.32 mg/day

Chromium picolinate(i) 1.44 mcg/day

Cod liver oil(b) 5.04 IU/day

CoEnzyme Q10(h) 0.44 mg/day

DHEA(g) 0.15 mg/day

Flax seed oil(h) 21.6 mg/day

Folic acid(b) 0.01 mg/day

Garlic(b) 21.6 mcg/day

Ginger(h) 7.2 mg/day

Gingko biloba(h) 1.44 mg/day

Ginseng (Canadian)(h) 8.64 mg/day

Green tea extracts(f) 7.2 mg/day

L-Glutathione(a) 0.36 mg/day

Magnesium(b) 0.72 mg/day

Melatonin(g) 0.01 mg/day

N-Acetyl cysteine(e) 7.2 mg/day

Potassium(b) 0.36 mg/day

Rutin(h) 0.72 mg/day

Selenium(h) 1.08 mcg/day

Zinc (chelated)(b) 0.14 mg/day

Notes: Vitamin brands are as follows: (a) = Cell Life; (b) = Jamieson vitamins; (c) = Jarrow Formulas; (d) = Lifebrand; (e) = Natural Factors; (f) = Naka; (g) = Promatrix; (h) = Swiss vitamins; (i) = Vitamin Power Inc.

What’s in Your Supplements?

What’s in Your Supplements?

The New York State attorney general’s office accused four national retailers on Monday of selling dietary supplements that were fraudulent and in many cases contaminated with unlisted ingredients.

The authorities said they had run tests on popular store brands of herbal supplements at the retailers — Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC — which showed that roughly four out of five of the products contained none of the herbs listed on their labels. In many cases, the authorities said, the supplements contained little more than cheap fillers like rice and house plants, or substances that could be hazardous to people with food allergies.

At GNC, for example, the agency found that five out of six samples from the company’s signature “Herbal Plus” brand of supplements “were either unrecognizable or a substance other than what they claimed to be.” In pills labeled ginkgo biloba, the agency found only rice, asparagus and spruce, an ornamental plant commonly used for Christmas decorations.

At Target, the agency tested six herbal products from its popular “Up and Up” store brand of supplements. Three out of six – including ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and valerian root, a sleep aid – tested negative for the herbs listed on their labels. But the agency did find that the pills contained powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots.

Here are the products that were analyzed by the attorney general, along with the test results that were described in cease-and-desist letters that the agency sent to the four retailers.

From GNC, Herbal Plus brand:

Gingko Biloba

No gingko biloba found
Found allium (garlic), rice, spruce and asparagus

St. John’s Wort

No St. John’s Wort found
Found allium (garlic), rice and dracaena (a tropical houseplant)


No ginseng found
Found rice, dracaena, pine, wheat/grass and citrus


Contained garlic


No echinacea found
Found rice in some samples

Saw Palmetto

One sample contained the clear presence of palmetto
Other samples contained a variety of ingredients, including asparagus, rice and primrose

From Target, Up & Up brand

Gingko Biloba

No gingko biloba found
Found garlic, rice and mung/French bean

St. John’s Wort

No St. John’s Wort found
Found garlic, rice and dracaena (houseplant)


Contained garlic
One test identified no DNA


Most but not all tests detected Echinacea One test identified rice

Saw Palmetto

Most tests detected saw palmetto Some tests found no plant DNA

Valerian Root

No valerian root found
Found allium, bean, asparagus, pea family, rice, wild carrot and saw palmetto

From Walgreens, Finest Nutrition brand

Gingko Biloba

No gingko biloba found Did detect rice

St. John’s Wort

No St. John’s Wort found
Detected garlic, rice and dracaena


No ginseng found
Detected garlic and rice


No garlic found
Detected palm, dracaena, wheat and rice


No echinacea found
Identified garlic, rice and daisy

Saw Palmetto

Contained saw palmetto

From Walmart, Spring Valley brand

Gingko Biloba

No gingko biloba found
Found rice, dracaena, mustard, wheat and radish

St. John’s Wort

No St. John’s Wort found Detected garlic, rice and cassava


No ginseng found
Found rice, dracaena, pine, wheat/grass and citrus


One sample showed small amounts of garlic Found rice, pine, palm, dracaena and wheat


No echinacea or plant material found

Saw Palmetto

Some samples contained small amounts of saw palmetto Also found garlic and rice