Berberine is an active chemical in a number of plants that are used in traditional medicine. People today claim it is beneficial for diabetes, higher cholesterol, and parasite infections. Have a look at this post to learn which of its purported advantages are supported by mathematics.
Where Does it Come From and How is it Used?
Berberine is a chemical found in several distinct plants, including Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis), and Chinese goldthread (Coptis Chinensis). It’s a 3000-year history of use in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine.
Berberine has been studied for heart failure, diarrhea, infections, and other health conditions. But according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), hardly any berberine is absorbed when folks take goldenseal orally (by mouth). Consequently, research results on berberine might not be relevant for goldenseal.
Berberine itself has lots of speculated beneficial effects. It is often used for cholesterol or diabetes issues, plus some evidence supports those uses. But, a couple of quality, large-scale studies of berberine are completed so far.
Alleged Health Benefits of Berberine
Remember to speak with a health care provider before taking berberine nutritional supplements. Berberine should never be used as a replacement for approved medical treatments.
1) Canker Sores
A topical application of Berberine gelatin (5 mg/g) reduced pain and ulcer size in 84 individuals with canker sores.
According to 1 meta-analysis, berberine could be beneficial in people with type two diabetes. However, the authors emphasized the proof is weak general because the included trials were few, had low methodological quality, small sample size, and unknown dangers of bias.
In 1 study, berberine (0.5 g, 3x/day for 3 months) performed similarly to metformin (a diabetes medicine ). It reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) amounts, fasting blood glucose, blood glucose following a meal, also triglycerides levels in 36 patients with type 2 diabetes.
In the other half of this study, 48 patients with type 2 diabetes treated with berberine had similar outcomes and also decreased plasma insulin. Total cholesterol and LDL diminished also.
A second study, 1 g/day berberine reduced fasting and post-meal blood sugar and HbA1c, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL levels (116 patients with type 2 diabetes).
In Rat studies, berberine improved insulin term, beta cell regeneration (the cells which make insulin), antioxidant activity, and decreased lipid peroxidation.
Based on the existing clinical evidence, berberine can help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes when utilized as an add-on to traditional therapy.
Scientists Have raised numerous hypotheses regarding the ways in which berberine may aid with diabetes on a cellular level, such as all the following:
- Directly increasing AMPK, which stimulates glucose uptake in muscle cells and helps balance high blood glucose (rat and cell research)
- Delay the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars (rat study)
- Enhancing glucagon secretion (rat study)
- Mimics insulin action by increasing the capability of the human body to consume glucose (cell research)
- Decreasing sugar transport through the intestinal lining (cell research)
- Increasing adiponectin, a protein that can help regulate blood sugar levels (through AMPK) (cell research)
- Activating the blood sugar transport activity of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) (cell research)
- Activating the fatty acid receptor GPR40 (cell research)
- Protecting the beta-cells of the pancreas against cell death (cell research)
- Inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver (rat study)
- Improving the gut microbiota (rat study)
- Inhibiting NF-kappaB (NF-kB) (cell research)
- Increasing nitric oxide expression (cell research)
But, larger trials are needed to verify the effectiveness of berberine in people with type two diabetes.
Scientists suspect berberine acts on pathways that support metabolic health in the human body, but this has not been confirmed.
3) High Cholesterol Levels
Both berberine and a multi-ingredient berberine supplement (berberine, policosanol, reddish yeast extract, folic acid, and astaxanthin) given daily for 4 months reduced total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides and improved HDL (40 issues with moderate cholesterol problems).
Another research with 32 patients with elevated cholesterol, berberine supplementation for 3 weeks significantly reduced cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol.
A nutritional supplement containing berberine (500 mg berberine, 10 mg policosanol, 200 mg red yeast rice, 0.2 mg folic acid, 2.0 mg coenzyme Q10, and 0.5 mg astaxanthin) lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and insulin resistance but did not affect HDL levels (SB-RCT with 80 patients with cholesterol issues).
This cholesterol-lowering effect was also investigated in mice.
Although Plausible, the total evidence for the beneficial effects on cholesterol is feeble. Further large-scale studies are necessary.
Based on lab experiments, scientists believe berberine might lower LDL via:
- Increasing activity in the LDL receptor in the liver.
- Slimming hepatocyte nuclear factor 1alpha.
- Inhibiting lipid synthesis through activation of AMPK.
Preliminary statistics show that berberine might help lower high cholesterol levels, but larger trials are necessary.
4) High Blood Pressure
As An Add-On to Medication Therapy
According To some large meta-analysis of a clinical study, berberine supplements in combination with conventional therapy (amlodipine) reduce systolic blood pressure after 2 months.
The Mix lowered systolic blood pressure (upper reading) by 5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (lower studying ) by two mmHg compared to therapy with medication treatment alone.
For Other Heart-Related Issues
Despite several promising findings, the evidence is lacking to support the use of berberine in people with heart disease. Large-scale clinical studies must be encouraged.
Berberine (1.2 — 2.0 g/day) combined with different conventional remedies enhanced the quality of life (exercise capacity and reduced fatigue) and decreased death rates (156 patients with chronic congestive heart failure).
Berberine Showed the potential to enhance aspects of cardiovascular health in rat studies. It was also investigated for potential protective effects on heart muscle cells injured by the recurrence of blood flow following blood circulation limitation (for example after a stroke) in rats.
When added to conventional drug treatment, berberine can help lower high blood pressure. Its effects on other heart-related issues are unclear.
Some evidence suggests that berberine may improve metabolic health in women with PCOS and insulin resistance.
In Clinical trials, berberine required for 3 weeks prior to ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF) reduced fasting blood glucose, insulin resistance, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, testosterone levels, and the waist-to-hip ratio.
Berberine also increased HDL cholesterol and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in women with PCOS and insulin resistance, compared with placebo.
Supplementation Also seemed to improve lipid status (like LDL and total cholesterol) in comparison with metformin, the typical drug of choice.
But, it is still uncertain whether berberine boosts the chance of pregnancy in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.
In one study, it had been as effective as metformin but with fewer side effects. In another study, it did not improve results when added to some other drug that stimulates ovulation (letrozole). Further research is necessary to describe these mixed findings.
Based on some clinical trials, berberine may enhance metabolic health in women with PCOS. Its impact on pregnancy rates is less certain.
The Following purported gains are only supported by restricted, low-quality clinical studies. There’s insufficient evidence to support the use of berberine for any of those below-listed uses.
6) As a Weight Loss Supplement
Berberine is a favorite weight-loss nutritional supplement, but the evidence is lacking to support its weight-reducing effects.
In 1 study, berberine (500 mg, 3/day for 12 weeks) led to an average weight reduction of 5 pounds, in addition to an improvement of triglyceride and cholesterol stats in overweight patients.
Berberine (0.3 g/day for 12 weeks) decreased BMI and leptin levels (a hormone involved with appetite ) in patients with metabolic syndrome (research with 37 patients).
Berberine inhibited the creation of body fat cells via the up-regulation of C/EBP inhibitors, CHOP and DEC2 (cell study).
More research is necessary.
7) Anti-Parasitic Possible
Berberine Together with malaria medication (pyrimethamine) was more effective against getting rid of this disease than other mixtures of drugs (pyrimethamine and tetracycline or pyrimethamine and cotrimoxazole) (215 patients).
The anti-parasitic effects of berberine are being researched at anaerobic protozoa (Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Entamoeba histolytica) as well as dog roundworm (Toxocara Canis) in cell studies.
Much more research is necessary.
Even though two or three small studies have been published, we still don’t know whether berberine improves weight loss or aids clear parasitic infections.
Below is a summary of the present animal and cell-based research, which ought to guide additional investigational efforts.
However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
No Valid evidence supports the use of berberine for gut issues, inflammatory ailments, liver problems, learning issues, mood disorders, or any of the conditions listed within this part.
8) Gut Problems
Berberine-containing plants are traditionally used as anti-diarrhea agents in Indian and Chinese medicine.
Berberine managed to inhibit secretions of toxins made by intestinal bacteria (E. coli and Vibrio cholerae) in animal models.
Some Scientists consider berberine may reduce”leaky gut” (intestinal epithelial tight junction damage), based on research on a mouse model of endotoxemia.
It also preferentially increased short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) producing bacteria in rat bowels. Its normalizing influence on gut bacteria was able to increase symptoms of autoimmune disease in mice, in another study.
Berberine also reduces the damaging effects of TNF-alpha inflammation on the intestinal lining.
Berberine may have anti-inflammatory activity.
It Reduced inflammation of the airways caused by inhalation of cigarette smoke and from dust mite allergens in 2 mouse studies.
The inflammation of the blood vessels has been improved by berberine.
It also decreased inflammation of the liver and of the fat cells in an animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disorder.
Berberine helps with gout and rheumatoid arthritis in animal models.
10) Learning & Memory
Berberine improved memory and learning brought on by diabetes in rat studies.
Researchers discovered that berberine may improve memory by:
- Stimulating cholinergic enzyme action and diminishing inflammation.
- Preventing the cell death of neurons with decreased blood flow (low oxygen) into the mind.
11) Liver Health
Berberine protected against toxin-induced liver damage in rats through antioxidant effects.
It also protected against infection-related liver damage in mice.
In rats using ulcerative colitis, Berberine reduced inflammation but also killed the commensal (good) bacteria in the intestine. In another study, berberine reduced inflammation in the gut of mice with colitis and intestinal damage.
Scientists believe that it might inhibit lipid peroxidation, intestinal fungal growth, and NF-κB inflammation.
13) Diabetic Complications
Berberine can relieve injury to the kidneys in diabetic rats with kidney problems.
Scientists are researching whether berberine works by inhibiting NF-κB and by inhibiting aldose reductase and oxidative stress in kidney cells of rats.
Berberine elevated amounts of key neurotransmitters from the hippocampus and frontal cortex of the brain. Neurotransmitter balance contributes to a good mood.
A rat study investigated the effects of berberine on melancholy and anxiety that frequently follow morphine addictions.
15) Effect on Brain Cells
Berberine reduced brain cell death in rats which were given strokes through reduced blood circulation into the brain.
In a mobile study, berberine increased amounts of enzymes connected with the regulation of inflammation of brain cells.
Berberine inhibits proteins (beta-amyloid and amyloid-beta peptide) involved in Alzheimer’s disease in cell studies.
16) Mitochondrial Function
Berberine creates new mitochondria by upping SIRT1 and also the NAD+/NADH ratio in rats.
17) Research in Bacteria, Yeast & Newsgroups
Berberine was researched against the next microbes in a cell study:
- S. aureus
- P. aeruginosa
- E. coli
- Candida albicans
- Influenza A virus
- Herpes simplex virus
And also: S. cerevisiae, A. pullulans, T. viride, M. gypseum, B. subtilis, Z. ramigera, A. niger, F. nivale, P. chrysogenum and T. viride.
Scientists Are exploring whether berberine has any effect on cancer cells. No conclusions can be drawn from their findings. Many chemicals seem to possess”anti-cancer” consequences in dished but don’t pass further animal or human research due to a lack of efficacy or safety.
Berberine has been researched on the following types of cells:
- Brain Cancer.
- Breast Cancer.
- Cervical Cancer.
- Colon Cancer.
- Liver Cancer.
- Cosmetic Cancer.
- Thyroid Cancer.
Repeated doses of berberine inhibit cytochromes P450 in humans, changing the normal breakdown of drugs.
Moderate adverse digestive effects were detected among a few issues in studies, for example, abdominal discomfort (nausea, distension, diarrhea).
Several People commented that berberine supplementation helped them with their blood sugar levels. A few people commented that berberine is great.
1 man lost a significant quantity of weight from carrying it another user stated there was no change in his or her weight.
One user stated they didn’t see any changes in their health.
The Opinions expressed in this section are solely those of the users who may or may not have scientific or medical training. Their testimonials do not reflect the opinions of us. We do not endorse any specific product, service, or therapy.
Do not consider User encounters as medical information. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider because of something you’ve read on our website. We understand that studying person, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is not a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or therapy from a qualified healthcare provider.
Berberine Is a compound found in several plants, such as goldenseal and barberry. Although these plants have a long history of traditional usage, their health benefits remain uncertain.
Modern science-focused mostly on Berberine within an isolated plant chemical. Evidence indicates it may be beneficial for individuals with canker sores, type two diabetes, high cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and PCOS.
All other purported health benefits and applications of berberine are still unproven.
Berberine Is likely safe when used at the recommended dosages, however mild digestive Unwanted effects are possible. Be sure to consult your Physician prior to supplementing.