Berberine is a chemical found in several plants including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, greater celandine, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.
Berberine is most commonly taken for diabetes, high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high blood pressure. It is also used for burns, canker sores, liver disease, and many other conditions but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.
How does it work ?
Berberine might cause stronger heartbeats. This might help people with certain heart conditions. Berberine might also help regulate how the body uses sugar in the blood. This might help people with diabetes. It also might also be able to kill bacteria and reduce swelling.
1. Potential Diabetes Treatment
In one study, berberine was found to help lower blood glucose. This can help prevent and treat type II diabetes and its complications, including diabetic cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy.
It’s also been shown to have positive effects on glucose-lipid metabolism, inflammatory factors and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome.
One of the most impressive studies compared taking 500 milligrams of the compound two to three times daily for three months to taking the common diabetes drug metformin. Berberine was able to control blood sugar and lipid metabolism as effectively as metformin, with researchers describing it as a “potent oral hypoglycemic agent.”
Additional studies have also indicated that berberine improves glucose uptake and lipid metabolism disorders. For example, a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine demonstrated that berberine can improve insulin sensitivity by adjusting adipokine secretion.
Thanks to its effects on insulin sensitivity, this compound may also help prevent kidney damage, according to some studies.
2. May Help Lower High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
There’s evidence that berberine may help lower high LDL, total cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
A study published in the journal Metabolism showed that berberine reduced serum cholesterol along with triglyceride levels in type 2 diabetic patients. It seems to work by inhibiting PCSK9, which, as research from Harvard Medical School notes, helps lower cholesterol.
A separate study found that the combined administration of red yeast rice — well-known for its ability to naturally lower cholesterol — and berberine may provide a broader range of cholesterol protection with a lower risk of serious adverse effects compared to prescription statin therapy.
In animal studies, berberine has been shown to decrease abnormally high concentrations of fats and lipids in the blood by promoting the excretion of cholesterol from the liver and inhibiting the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
Because it can lower blood sugar, improve LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce testosterone levels, and lower waist-to-hip ratio, it offers benefits for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as well.
It can also improves blood pressure levels and circulation among people with metabolic syndrome when consumed with a healthy diet high in antioxidants or supplements such as folic acid, coenzyme Q10 and astaxanthin.
3. May Help Support Weight Loss
Berberine powder is one of few compounds that is capable of activating adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (or AMPK). AMPK is an enzyme inside the human body’s cells, which is often called a “metabolic master switch” since it plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism.
AMPK activation boosts fat burning in the mitochondria, which is why studies have demonstrated that berberine may help stop fat accumulation in the human body and protect against metabolic syndrome.
In one study published in Phytomedicine, obese adults were given 500 milligrams of berberine orally three times per day for a total of 12 weeks. The efficacy and safety of the treatment was determined by measurements of body weight, comprehensive metabolic panel, blood lipid and hormone levels, expression levels of inflammatory factors, complete blood count and electrocardiograph.
Overall, this study displayed that berberine is a potent lipid-lowering compound with a moderate weight loss effect.
4. Potential Protection Against Cognitive Decline
Studies have evaluated the therapeutic potential of berberine against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and trauma-induced neurodegeneration. While more research is warranted, one study revealed that there are multiple positive effects of berberine — some of which enhance neuroprotective factors/pathways and others that counteract neurodegeneration.
Animal studies have also shown that it may help fight depression. There’s evidence that berberine possesses protective central nervous system activities, particularly the ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase-A, an enzyme involved in the degradation of norepinephrine and serotonin, that has mood-lifting effects.
5. Can Help Manage SIBO
Patients who suffer from small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) symptoms have excessive bacteria in their small intestines. Present conventional treatment of SIBO is limited to oral antibiotics with inconsistent success.
The objective of one study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine was to determine the remission rate of SIBO using an antibiotic versus an herbal remedy. It found that the herbal treatment, which included berberine, worked just as well as antibiotic treatment and was equally safe.
6. Supports Heart Health
Part of berberine’s positive effect on heart health likely stems from the compound’s ability to help keep blood sugar levels and obesity in check, both of which can raise the risk of coronary heart disease.
It also stimulates the release of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that relaxes the arteries, increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and protects against arteriosclerosis.
In research published in the World Journal of Cardiology, people who took berberine had better heart function and were better able to exercise than those who took a placebo.
The cardiovascular effects of berberine also suggest its possible clinical usefulness in the treatment of arrhythmias and heart failure.
7. May Improve Lung Health
Research suggests that berberine benefits lung function due to its anti-inflammatory effects. This alkaloid has even been shown to reduce the effect of cigarette smoke-induced acute lung inflammation.
In one study published in the journal Inflammation, mice were exposed to cigarette smoke to cause acute lung injury and were then given 50 mg/kg of berberine intragastrically. Upon examination of lung tissues, it was found that cigarette smoke caused inflammation of the lung’s alveoli along with cellular edema or abnormal fluid retention.
However, pretreatment with berberine significantly lessened lung inflammation and ameliorated cigarette smoke-induced acute lung injury through its anti-inflammatory activity.
8. May Protect the Liver
Is berberine good for the liver? Although more research is needed to confirm it can defend against liver diseases, early research suggests that berberine supports the liver by decreasing blood sugar, insulin resistance and triglycerides, which are markers of liver damage in people with diabetes and viruses like hepatitis.
It may also offer support for people with fatty liver disease. Studies have found that berberine exerts anti-hyperglycemic and anti-dyslipidemic effects, meaning it improves glucolipid metabolism, which can help address root causes of fatty liver disease.
9. Potentially Has Anti-Cancer Effects
There is increasing research on the regulation of cancer cell metabolism by berberine hydrochloride. That’s because berberine may help induce cancer cell death.
Its anticancer activity, specifically inhibiting growth and proliferation of cancer cells, makes it likely to become a natural component of the nanoparticulate delivery systems used for cancer berberine therapy. For example, berberine induced apoptosis of human tongue cancer cells in research conducted at China Medical University.
Is berberine good for fatty liver
In conclusion, based on current evidence, berberine can significantly improve blood lipids and liver function in patients with NAFLD and has good advantage in reducing blood glucose in patients with NAFLD, which might be a new choice for the treatment of NAFLD. Due to the limit of the number and quality of the trials included, the conclusions need to be further validated by more strictly designed multicentered RCTs of high quality and large scale.
Berberine (BBR) regulates cholesterol metabolism and exerts antioxidant effects. Accordingly, we hypothesized that BBR treatment may ameliorate ARD-induced kidney injury through its cholesterol-lowering effect and also suppression of the pathways involved in oxidative stress, inflammation and NFκB activation.
Is berberine good for pros
It has very impressive health benefits, and affects your body at the molecular level. Berberine has been shown to lower blood sugar, cause weight loss and improve heart health, to name a few. It is one of the few supplements shown to be as effective as a pharmaceutical drug.
Berberine is a supplement that emerging research has shown can be effective in treating type 2 diabetes because of its blood-sugar-lowering properties. It’s generally well tolerated and affordable, and it can be effective for some people, but it’s not without side effects and risks.
Berberine is a compound in several plants, including goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric.
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