Berberine – Review the Latest Research

Full Disclosure

Berberine, also known as berberine chloride, is a chemical found in a variety of plants. It could help treat high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other issues. However, side effects could include nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting.

Berberine has long been an integral part of Chinese and Ayurvedic treatment. It is part of the body in various ways and can create changes in its cells.

Berberine studies have shown that it may treat various metabolic health issues, such as obesity, diabetes and heart conditions. Berberine may also aid in improving digestion health.

While berberine is secure and has no negative effects, anyone must consult a physician prior to taking it.

Benefits

Below are some conditions that Berberine can help treat according to studies.

Bacterial infections

Berberine is a potent antimicrobial agent. study from 2022 showed that berberine slowed its growth in Staphylococcus aureus.

S. aureus is a source of various health problems, among them:

  • Sepsis
  • pneumonia
  • meningitis
  • A variety of skin conditions

A different study revealed that berberine is able to harm DNA and proteins of some bacteria.

Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the major factors in many ailments, including diabetes and heart disease.

Studies suggest that berberine contains anti-inflammatory properties. This implies that it can be used to in the treatment of diabetes and other inflammation-related health issues.

Diabetes

Studies have shown that berberine can be used as a treatment for diabetes. Research has found that it may have favorable effects upon:

  • blood sugar
  • triglycerides
  • insulin

review of the literature indicated that berberine performed better than placebo in lower blood sugar.

The same study also revealed that a combination of berberine and blood sugar-lowering drugs is more effective than drugs alone.

Based on research conducted in 2014 Berberine has shown promise as a possible diabetes treatment particularly for people who are not able to use existing anti-diabetic medication due to kidney failure or liver issues.

Another review of the literature showed that berberine in combination with lifestyle changes performed better in reducing blood sugar levels than lifestyle changes by themselves.

Berberine may activate the an AMP-activated protein kinase that could help regulate how your body processes blood sugar. The researchers believe this activation will aid in the treatment of diabetes and its related health problems, like excessive weight and elevated cholesterol.

Another meta-analysis from 2020 revealed benefits in metabolic parameters and body weight with no significant increase in liver enzymes.

However, scientists must conduct larger double-blinddouble-blind tests to establish the safety and effectiveness of Berberine.

Talk to your doctor prior to taking berberine to treat diabetes. It's not the right choice for everyone and may interact with other drugs.

High cholesterol

A high level of low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides can enhance the likelihood of developing heart stroke and heart.

Certain evidence suggests that berberine can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to a review, studies conducted in animals and humans suggest that berberine may be able to lower cholesterol levels.

It can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and boost high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol.

review of the literature found that berberine when combined with lifestyle modifications works better than lifestyle changes on their own for treating high cholesterol.

Researchers believe that the benefits of berberine may be similar to medicines that reduce cholesterol levels, but berberine does not cause the same adverse consequences.

High blood pressure

The high blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease.

A literature review found that berberine combined with a blood-pressure-lowering drug was more effective than the drug alone.

Furthermore, results from research on rats suggest that berberine may slow the progression for high blood pressureand when it does occur can help decrease its severity.

Obesity

Obesity is a very common condition which can increase the chance of

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol

A study found that those who consumed 750 milligrams (mg) of barberry two times daily for three months saw a dramatic reduction in weightBarberry is a berry that contains a significant amount of Berberine.

Additionally, a double-blind research revealed that those suffering from metabolic syndrome who ingested 200 milligrams of barberry 3 times a day saw a reduction in body mass index readings.

The researchers behind a different study discovered that berberine can stimulate brown adipose tissues. This tissue assists the body transform food into body heat and the increased activity could aid in treating metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Certain studies suggest Berberine is akin similar to metformin that doctors typically recommend to combat the condition of type 2 diabetes. In reality, berberine might be able to modify the bacteria present in the gut, which can aid in treating obesity as well as diabetes.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that occurs when females have excessive levels of male hormones. PCOS is a metabolic and hormonal imbalance that could lead to infertility and various health issues.

PCOS is associated with a variety of problems that berberine can assist in addressing. For instance, a person suffering from PCOS could also be suffering from:

  • high levels of diabetes, insulin, or both
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • More body weight

Doctors may prescribe metformin as a diabetes drug used to treat PCOS. Berberine is believed to have similar effects as metformin it could be a viable treatment for PCOS.

A systematic review revealed that berberine could be a viable option for a treatment option for PCOS who suffer from insulin resistance. The authors, however, state that the confirmation of these results will require additional research.

Cancer

Berberine causes changes in cells' molecules, which could also have a possibility of benefit: combating cancer.

One study showed that berberine can have “clear inhibiting impacts” in the following types of cancers:

  • colorectal cancer
  • lung cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • cervical cancer

Another study has shown that berberine aids in treating cancer by interfering with the progression of cancer and the normal life cycle. It could also play part in the destruction of cancerous cells.

Based on these findings The authors conclude that Berberine is “highly likely to be efficient as well as safe and inexpensive” as a cancer fighter.

It is also important to keep in mind that researchers have only examined the effects of berberine on cancerous cells in a lab and not on people.

Gut health

According to a 2020 study, berberine could help combat inflammation, cancer, diabetes, and other ailments by beneficially impacting the microbiota in your gut. Scientists have identified connections between the gut microbiome—the colonies of bacterial colonies in the gut—and the conditions it treats.

Berberine has antibacterial properties which is thought to get rid of harmful bacteria from the gutand boost the development in healthy bacteria.

Studies on humans as well as rodents have indicated that this may be the case, scientists warn that further research is needed to establish how berberine effects humans and if it's suitable for use.

Supplements

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) mentions that supplements containing berberine are available as capsules or supplements.

Numerous studies recommend taking between 900 and 1,500 mg daily, but most people take the same amount three times a day. The AANP recommends that people speak with a doctor prior to taking berberine to determine if it is safe and what dosage they can take.

If a doctor is of the opinion that berberine's use is safe, use The AANP recommends that people look at the label of the product to see if it has third-party certification, such as instance, NSF. National Science Foundation (NSF) or NSF International.

The authors of a 2017 study discovered that there was a wide variance in the contents of Berberine capsules. This could cause confusion regarding the safety of the product and dosages. The study did not conclude that higher prices does not necessarily mean a better quality product.

It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not a regulator of supplements. There is no assurance of the effectiveness or safety of supplements and it isn't always possible to test the purity that the supplement is made of.

Berberine vs. metformin

Scientists believe that berberine and metformin share several characteristics and are effective in treating type 2 diabetes.

If a physician has recommended metformin they shouldn't think about Berberine as a possible alternative without first talking to their physician.

A doctor will determine the right dose of metformin for the patient based on research conducted in clinical trials. It's not possible to determine which supplement corresponds to the prescribed amount.

Berberine is known to interfere with metforminand can affect the blood sugar level, which makes them difficult to control. In one study using metformin and berberine together resulted in the reduction of 25% the effects of metformin.

Someday, berberine might be a good alternative to metformin in managing blood sugar levels, however further research is required.

Side effects

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) informs that if adult consume goldenseal, a supplement that contains Berberine, orally, it is not likely to cause serious negative effects in the short-term. However, there's not enough data to establish that long-term use is secure.

Berberine can cause digestive side effects, such as:

  • upset stomach
  • constipation
  • nausea

It may also trigger headaches or arash for certain people.

In studies on animals, researchers have observed the following effects dependent on the kind of animal, the amount they ate, and how they lasted:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • Muscle tremor
  • gastric ulcers
  • Enlargement of the kidney and liver
  • a decrease in white blood cells.

It is crucial to consult with a doctor before using berberine or any other supplement if it is not believed to be safe or appropriate for all people. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of an allergy to any herb should stop using it immediately.

The NCCIH suggests that people do not make use of goldenseal which is a source of berberine during the course of pregnancy or breastfeeding. They also caution that giving goldenseal to babies may cause or worsen jaundice as well as increase risk for developing kernicterus which could be a life-threatening disease.

There is also an opportunity for hypoglycemia using goldenseal, dependent on whether a person is taking other prescription medications for hypoglycemics. Goldenseal can interact with prescription medicines.

Is berberine safe?

It is recommended that patients consult their physician before taking medications that contain berberine.

Here are some potential risks as per the NCCIH:

  • Berberine can interact with other medications, for example metformin.
  • It's often unclear what percentage of an active ingredient is contained in a supplement. This can lead to getting the wrong dosage.
  • Negative effects can be experienced if people consume too much or if they are at risk.
  • There isn't enough evidence from science to show that goldenseal and the other Berberine products are safe to use to use over the long term.
  • Berberine taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may cause harm to the baby or fetus.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about berberine.

Are berberines used to aid in weight loss?

Berberine is a popular ingredient used by individuals to aid in weight loss.

This is confirmed by a study in 2020, wherein berberine consumption is linked with a significant decrease in body body mass index (BMI) as well as waist circumference.

Does berberine harm kidneys?

According to a study in 2023, Berberine appears to benefit people with kidney problems. It works by altering the type of friendly bacteria found in the gut and preventing the production of harmful substances that could make kidney problems worse.

Does berberine kill good bacteria?

Berberine is not a killer of good bacteria.

A 2020 study revealed that berberine may trigger the death of intestinal cells that cause harm to bacteriait also boosts the amount and variety of beneficial bacteria found in the gut.

Summary

The research suggests that berberine may be a viable treatment for various ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. However, further research is required to prove that it is suitable as an alternative treatment.

Berberine is a natural remedy that may be as effective as prescription medications. Therefore, it is important to take it with caution and consult with a doctor before using it.

Live Healthier
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