So far, two studies have examined the effects on body weight.
In a 12-week study in obese individuals, 500 mg taken three times per day caused about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average. The participants also lost 3.6% of their body fat (14).
Another more impressive study was conducted in 37 men and women with metabolic syndrome. This study went on for 3 months, and the participants took 300 mg, 3 times per day.
The participants dropped their body mass index (BMI) levels from 31.5 to 27.4, or from obese to overweight in only 3 months. They also lost belly fat and improved many health markers (15Trusted Source).
The researchers believe that the weight loss is caused by improved function of fat-regulating hormones, such as insulin, adiponectin and leptin.
Berberine also appears to inhibit the growth of fat cells at the molecular level.
However, more research is needed on the weight loss effects of berberine.
Two studies have shown that berberine can cause significant weight loss, while improving all sorts of other health markers at the same time.
Like other supplements that may help with weight loss the mechanism of action of berberine alters many different pathways and has multiple benefits.
By now you should be aware that there is no "magical cure" for weight loss, or that one simple supplement or medication will result in significant weight loss by itself.
metformin vs berberine blood sugar
Instead, if weight loss is your goal, your focus should be on targeting specific hormonal pathways that are out of balance in YOUR body.
Berberine happens to impact several of these hormonal pathways and this is probably one of the main reasons that berberine has been shown to help with weight loss.
Before we begin I want to point out that berberine is best used if it is part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes other targeted supplements, hormones (as necessary), dietary changes and other lifestyle changes.
So now that that is out of the way, let's talk about the many ways that berberine may help with weight loss.
Berberine has shown in studies to inhibit the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which allows the body to store fat. And it may also reduce levels of leptin, a hormone found in the adipose tissue of fat cells. Leptin plays a role in inhibiting hunger, and regulating energy balance so that the body is not constantly asking for food when it doesn’t need it.
In one pilot study of humans and rats, obese human subjects were given 500mg of berberine three times per day over a 12-week period, while the rats were also tested for the potential anti-obesity effects (2).
The humans lost a modest 5 lbs over the span of 12 weeks, plus they experienced significantly reduced blood lipid levels, which included a 23% decrease of triglyceride and 12.2% decrease in cholesterol levels. The rats saw similar results with a 34.7% decrease in triglyceride and 9% decrease in cholesterol levels.
The heart health benefits were a welcome outcome in addition to the moderate weight loss. In fact, the positive effects on lipid metabolism is a good sign as Hyperlipidemia is a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Also, the five pounds of weight loss may not be much over a 12-week period, however, with physical activity and a strict, energy-restricted diet, the results could be even greater.
It is common to take 500 mg, 3 times per day, before meals (a total of 1500 mg per day).Berberine has a half-life of several hours, so it is necessary to spread your dosage to several times per day to achieve stable blood levels.
Diabetes: Berberine in individuals with diabetes appears to mildly decrease blood sugar concentrations. Early study also indicates that taking 500 mg of berberine 2-3 times a day for up to three months could regulate blood sugar as efficiently as metformin or rosiglitazone.
Berberine is that it increases the effects and side effects of some medicines that are broken down by the liver. Berberine decreases the time taken by liver to break down some medicines, thereby, increasing the effects and side effects of such medicines. I am not sure if Ashwagandha is broken down by liver. I suggest you to take one at a time and if much required you may slowly introduce the other to see if Berberine enhances any of the effects or side effects of Ashwagandha. Normally, Ashwagandha in normal dose is considered safe. No one who is pregnant or nursing should use such herbs or supplements without consulting a qualified health care professional.
For diabetes: 0.9-1.5 grams of berberine has been taken in divided doses daily for 2-4 months.
For high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia): 0.6-1.5 grams of berberine has been taken in divided doses daily for 6 to 24 months. Combination products containing 500 mg of berberine, 10 mg of policosanol, and 200 mg of red yeast rice, along with other ingredients, have been taken daily for up to 12 months.
For high blood pressure: 0.9 grams of berberine has been taken daily for 2 months.
For a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS): 1.5 grams of berberine has been taken daily for 3-6 months.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
For canker sores: Gel containing 5 mg of berberine per gram has been applied four times per day for 5 days.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take berberine by mouth if you are pregnant. Researchers believe berberine can cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. Kernicterus, a type of brain damage, has developed in newborn infants exposed to berberine.
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