The Benefits of Berberine

By  //  August 9, 2022

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Are you tired of all the complicated and unnatural treatment methods that come with being diagnosed with diabetes? Did you know that Berberine has the ability to lower blood sugar and blood pressure? Berberine is a natural alkaloid in hundreds of plants, the most popular being Oregon grapes, barberry, and goldenseal. An alkaloid is a compound found in plants that has significant physiological impacts on human beings. 

Eastern medicine has been utilizing the many benefits of berberine for thousands and thousands of years, first being documented over 3,000 years ago. The Western world has been slower to recognize its benefits, but after multiple studies were conducted a little over a decade ago, they realized that not only does berberine lower blood sugar, it also lowers blood pressure making it a perfect natural therapy option for diabetes.

Chinese medicine has been using it for intestinal problems and inflammation along with skin health and wound healing for ages, but recently more and more medical journals have published studies on its other insane benefits. Beyond its obvious use for diabetes due to its direct impact on blood sugar, berberine has been studied and shown a positive impact on a wide variety of other things such as gut microbiota, lipids, inflammation, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and oxidative stress.

Professionals are now saying that berberine is one of the most successful and diverse alkaloids in its ability to provide natural treatment options to people.

Want to learn more about berberine benefits? Summarized below is a list of berberine’s most popular uses when it comes to your health.

1. Reducing blood sugar. Berberine’s most common benefit is in reducing blood sugar and has been shown to work as well as the industry’s leading standard of oral diabetes drugs. This is thanks to an enzyme found in berberine called AMPK which works to regulate the metabolism and aid in insulin sensitivity. It also has strong effects on the body’s ability to move glucose through cells and reduce its production in the liver.

2. Aiding heart health. Berberine has great cardiovascular effects in its ability to change lipids. Studies have also shown berberine’s impact on hypertension due to its ability to relax the arteries. It helps with atherosclerosis as it prevents plaque buildup in the arteries and arrhythmias as it helps regulate the heartbeat. Because berberine also strengthens heart contractions, studies also identify it as a great preventive against heart failure.

3. Treating liver disease. Known to impact the disorder of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD, studies on berberine showed that people who did a combination of lifestyle interventions plus took daily berberine supplements experienced more liver fat reduction, weight loss, and lipid improvement. These improvements were more significant than those who only enacted lifestyle interventions or who enacted lifestyle interventions and an oral drug for diabetes. 

4. Lowering cholesterol. Berberine’s clear benefits towards lipid profiles are one of its most significant benefits. Due to the use of berberine, receptors in the liver show increased activity in clearing cholesterol in low-density lipoproteins, or LDL. In studies testing the usage of berberine versus statin, a drug commonly used for high cholesterol, berberine came out on top with higher performance in reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increasing HDL cholesterol. 

5. Assisting weight loss. Berberine has been shown in studies to work effectively in lowering body max index and waist size. Often used with patients who have metabolic syndrome, berberine has been utilized as a supplement along with  exercise or diet programs to help perpetuate results. In one study patients’ BMI and waist circumference were both reduced due to berberine usage.

6. Relieving digestive disorders. As a natural anti-inflammatory, berberine has a positive impact on the gut’s microbiome. Whether it’s diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, or various other bowel diseases, studies show that those who take daily berberine supplements have less abdominal pain and less diarrhea frequency. 

7. Preventing cancer. Though berberine by itself is not an approved cancer treatment, it has many proven benefits as a natural compound that works alongside chemotherapy and radiation. Because berberine stops the growth of several different cancer cell lines, it can work effectively in preventing metastasis and the development of blood vessels that aid tumors. One study even indicated a reduced number of colorectal adenomas in those who utilized berberine supplements. 

Protecting against neurodegenerative disorders. Berberine’s anti-inflammatory properties may also be applied to neuroinflammation that may result in cases of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other various neurodegenerative cases. By reducing inflammation in the brain, berberine can work to stop the build-up of plaque categorized as beta-amyloid which is often present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s.