Berberine is a natural plant-derived compound with a long history of medicinal uses in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties, and several impressive benefits for many health conditions.
The Health Benefits of Berberine
- Increased insulin sensitivity! It’s been shown to lower hemoglobin A1c, insulin and fasting blood glucose in those with high blood sugar. Several studies have shown berberine to be superior to Metformin for increased hemoglobin A1c, diabetes and PCOS.
- Improved heart function and a significant impact on cholesterol metabolism: lowers lipids better than red yeast rice, decreases triglycerides by 18%, LDL by 20%, and apolipoprotein B (a risk factor for heart disease) by up to 15%!
- Antimicrobial properties. It’s a natural antibiotic helpful in treating bacterial, fungal, yeast, and parasitic infections. It’s a natural remedy for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) too. A study published in the journal Nanomedicine:NBM reported that 300mg berberine three times daily for six weeks resulted in suppression of H. pylori in at least 40% of a group of peptic ulcer patients.
- It dissolves biofilms, and has no effect on the healthy bacteria in our microbiome!
- Berberine activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that plays a key role in regulating metabolism, cellular energy, reversing insulin resistance, and reducing oxidative stress.
- Anti-cancer properties. Studies in the journal Nanomedicine: NBM demonstrated that berberine inhibits the proliferation, cell growth and migration of breast cancer cells. It inhibits 5a reductase type 2 (an enzyme that is present in highest concentration in male reproductive tissues, the skin, and the liver). Over-activity of this enzyme has been linked to the progression of prostate cancer.
- Gut health. Berberine is helpful for leaky gut, repairs the gut wall and regulates the integrity of tight junctions in the gut. It’s beneficial for diarrhea, colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Helpful for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), lowering elevated liver enzymes and reducing fat build up in the liver.
- Helps to fight depression exerting anti-depressant effects.
- Inhibits fat storage and the growth of fat cells, reduces visceral fat, controls central obesity, and improves the function of hormones such as insulin, leptin, and adiponectin.
- Substantial evidence also shows that berberine has neuroprotection properties for brain ischemia (lack of blood flow to the brain) and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to reduce traumatic brain injury and brain damage by limiting the production of inflammatory mediators.
Berberine Dosing: 500mg, 2-3 times daily with food. Order here!
Precautions and Contraindications
- Berberine should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Berberine is known to inhibit cytochromes P450 (CYP2D6, CYP2C9 and CYP3A4) in the liver, which can interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it’s important that you talk with your health care provider, clinician or pharmacist before supplementing with berberine if you are taking any prescription medications.