6 Proven Effects Of Berberine
By Jayton Miller
Berberine is a powerful compound with a large amount of impressive benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels, minimizing fat storage, protecting the liver, reducing inflammation and improving heart health. Let’s see what this amazing alkaloid has to offer!
- What Is Berberine?
- Benefits Of Berberine
- How To Use Berberine
- Side Effects Of Berberine
- Supplementing With Berberine
What Is Berberine?:
Berberine is a bioactive compound and a type of alkaloid that comes from a variety of different plants, including the Berberis plant, European barberry, goldenseal, tree turmeric, Oregon grape and phellodendron.
More specifically, berberine is a type of alkaloid, which are chemicals that are derived from plants and often can have similar effects as pharmaceutical drugs.
Berberine has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat many different types of ailments. Today, it is still used to help with various health issues.
Different Names For Berberine:
Berberine may also be known as berberine complex or berberine sulfate.
How Does Berberine Work?:
Berberine mimics how traditional pharmaceutical drugs work. When ingested, berberine travels to the body’s cells through the bloodstream where it then binds to many different molecular sites and alters their function.
More specifically, berberine activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme inside the cells of different organs, such as the brain, heart, liver and kidney. AMPK is one of the key factors in regulating metabolism.
Essentially, berberine impacts the body at a molecular level and serves a myriad of functions once inside the cells.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Glucose & How It Works
Benefits of Berberine:
There are several ailments that berberine may be able to support and aid with, including the following:
Some studies suggest that berberine may be able to reduce blood sugar levels in people suffering from Type II diabetes. Studies suggest it may even be just as effective as traditional pharmaceutical medication used to target the disease, including metformin.
Berberine may be effective in treating the symptoms associated with diabetes in a few different ways. For instance, it has shown to reduce insulin resistance, which makes insulin more effective at lowering blood sugar levels. It may also help with the metabolism of sugars inside cells while slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
Berberine may also work as a complementary supplement to traditional diabetes medications that are developed to reduce blood sugar levels in those with the disease. (make sure to talk to your doctor before trying a berberine supplement)
Berberine may be an effective weight loss agent, according to studies. One particular study found that participants who took 500 mg of berberine three times daily lost an average of 5 pounds over a 12-week period compared to those who took a placebo.
Further, researchers also discovered that the consumption of berberine also significantly lowered blood lipid levels in the study's subjects.
The fat loss effect of berberine may be attributed to an improvement in hormones, such as adiponectin, leptin and insulin, which are instrumental in regulating body fat. The supplement may also be effective at hindering fat cell development at a molecular level.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be effectively managed with pharmaceutical medication, but they come with a long list of possible side effects. First and foremost you want to make sure to get your diet and exercise regimen on point to help with your high blood pressure levels. Berberine may be an effective natural complement to such medical intervention for this ailment. Studies have shown that berberine may help to reduce blood pressure in some people.
That said, it's important to be careful with dosing and with the exact mix of berberine high blood pressure medications, as taking berberine along with these drugs could cause blood pressure to drop too much (hypotension). Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you are already taking medications.
Some studies have shown that applying a berberine topical gel to canker sores may help to combat their uncomfortable symptoms.
Berberine may be effective in reducing “leaky gut,” a condition whereby intestinal permeability is increased, allowing toxins to be able to leak through the intestinal wall and cause discomfort. It may also be able to normalize gut bacteria and reduce the effects of inflammation on the intestinal wall.
How to Use Berberine:
Berberine may be taken orally to treat ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. It may also be applied to the skin to treat topical issues such as canker sores, blisters and burns.
Studies on berberine suggest that a daily dosage of anywhere between 900 mg to 1500 mg per day is safe for human consumption.
More specifically, berberine should be taken periodically throughout the day rather than in one large dose once per day in order to maintain its effects, particularly for blood sugar levels. For instance, 300 mg to 500 mg taken three times a day before meals would be ideal.
It's highly recommended that anyone wishing to take berberine should speak with a physician first before introducing it to a diet regimen.
Side Effects of Berberine:
Studies suggest that berberine is safe, though it may come with certain minor side effects, including:
- Stomach cramps
Anyone taking other medications — particularly drugs to lower blood sugar levels - should speak with a doctor first, as berberine may reduce the effects of the pharmaceuticals.
Supplementing with Berberine:
Berberine has long been used as a natural medication to target specific ailments, and studies have shown that it may continue to be an effective and powerful supplement that can be taken alongside traditional medications or as a natural alternative.
As with any other type of supplement or medication, be sure to consult with a physician prior to consuming berberine, especially when combining it with other medications.
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