Turmeric and Pepper - Busting the Myth

Turmeric and Pepper in Dog Nutrition : Busting the Myth

January 06, 2020

Turmeric in Dog Nutrition

Turmeric is becoming a widely used spice in canine diets and its benefits are undeniable. We know from speaking to our own customers what a difference turmeric in the diet can make to all dogs whether they're older or young and active. 

As with many things that people gain an awareness of, the complexities are overlooked and misinformation spreads around very quickly. Turmeric is no exception, so we think it’s high time that the misunderstanding around turmeric and pepper be cleared up. We’ll be citing research as we go throughout this article and you can see the full reference list at the end.

 Turmeric and Pepper in Dog Nutrition

We’ve heard it hundreds of times – “Turmeric can’t be absorbed without pepper” or “Pepper is necessary when feeding turmeric”. That is a myth.

It is absolutely not necessary to feed pepper alongside turmeric in order for it to be absorbed.

It is true that turmeric is poorly absorbed by the gut [1]. The reason for that has to do with water solubility[2]. Turmeric is not very water soluble, meaning that it moves rapidly to the liver before much of it can be absorbed by the gut into the bloodstream. However, even on its own, turmeric is absorbed to a certain degree and does show promising benefits and effects[3].

In studies using human subjects, the addition of pepper when consuming turmeric, did show a very significant increase in bioavailability of turmeric. The results in animals however, were much less dramatic [4].

Over the years, it has become apparent from the research that the two main ways to enhance bioavailability of turmeric for the average person using it at home, it to add either oil or pepper or both.

How do the additions of these two things actually enhance bioavailability?

By adding pepper, the turmeric still goes to the liver with very little absorption having occurred in the gut. The presence of the pepper then prevents the liver from metabolising the turmeric and breaking it down to be excreted. [2]

When oil is added, the problem of low water-solubility is canceled out. Therefore, the presence of oil when the turmeric reaches the gastrointestinal tract allows the turmeric to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine [5].

The important thing to remember about adding pepper is how it enhances bioavailability. Pepper has the same effect of blocking metabolism and breakdown of many components other than those found in turmeric including a number of medications and other active ingredients in food. In many of those cases, you wouldn’t want to prevent them being metabolised and to remain in the body for an extended period of time. So, if you’re planning to add pepper to your dog's diet, it is best to consult your vet and proceed with caution, particularly if they’re on any medication.

It is the interference with metabolism caused by pepper that has led us to leave it out of Canine GOLD. This doesn’t hamper the ability of the product to be beneficial in any way. If nothing else, the hundreds of testimonials and stories our customers have shared with us about the product are proof that turmeric can be absorbed and is incredibly beneficial without pepper!

Canine GOLD - Turmeric Joint Supplement for Dogs

This brings us to Canine GOLD.   Our product combines the renowned benefits of Aloe Vera, Turmeric, Coconut Oil and LInseed Oil to give your dog the very best that nature has to offer.   Don't just take our word for it, our testimonials and army of happy dogs speaks for itself!

Our product has a perfect balance of oil and curcumin for optimal absorption and effect.  Canine GOLD's liquid formula saves time and effort and makes for an incredibly convenient and effective means of delivering the wonderful health benefits of turmeric into your dog's diet.


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1 - Anand, P.; Kunnumakkara, A.; Newman, R. and Aggarwal, B. Bioavailability of Curcumin: Problems and Promises. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2007.

2 - Helson, L., (2013), Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) delivery methods: A review, Biofactors, 39 (1).

3 - Khanna, D, et al., Natural Products as a Gold Mine for Arthritis Treatment, Current Opinion in Pharmacology 2007, 7:344-351.

4 - Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. S. (1998). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta medica, (64), 353-6.

5 - Gupta, S., Kismali , G., & Aggarwai, B. (2013) Curumin, a component of turmeric: From farm to pharmacy, Biofactors, Vol. 39 (1).


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