Berberine is a great supplement, especially reducing blood sugar. Check out this pretty comprehensive post on how berberine can help you.
- What is Berberine?
- Berberine That I use
- 1) Berberine Improves Learning & Memory
- 2) Berberine Supports Gut Health
- 3) Berberine is an Anti-Depressant
- 4) Berberine Treats Inflammation
- 5) Berberine Improves Blood Sugar Balance
- 6) Berberine Promotes Weight Loss
- 7) Berberine is Anti-Cancer
- 8) Berberine Improves Cholesterol Stats
- 9) Berberine Lowers Blood Pressure
- 10) Berberine Prevents Heart Disease
- 11) Berberine Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
- 12) Berberine Helps Arthritis
- 13) Berberine Protects the Liver
- 14) Berberine Prevents and Arrests Colitis/IBD
- 15) Berberine is Anti-Bacterial
- 16) Berberine is Anti-Parasitic
- 17) Berberine is Anti-Viral
- 18) Berberine Heals Canker Sores
- 19) Berberine Treats Diabetic Nephropathy
- 20) Berberine Improves Mitochondrial Function
- Drug Interactions
- Adverse Effects
- Buying Berberine
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a compound found in many different plants, including Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and Chinese Golden thread (Coptis chinensis).
Berberine has a 3000-year history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Modern medicine is now proving scientifically the benefits that have been known for ages, as well as identifying new applications for the ailments of modern civilization.
Berberine That I use
I just make sure to get my berberine from a reliable source.
1) Berberine Improves Learning & Memory
Berberine may improve memory by
- stimulating cholinergic enzyme activity and reducing inflammation (R).
- preventing the destruction of neurons in patients with reduced blood flow (low oxygen) to the brain (R).
2) Berberine Supports Gut Health
It protects the mucosal lining of the gut from damage due to heavy drinking (R).
Berberine’s normalizing effect on gut bacteria was able to improve symptoms of fatty liver disease in mice (R).
3) Berberine is an Anti-Depressant
4) Berberine Treats Inflammation
- It reduced inflammation from dust mite allergens in a Chinese study using mice (R) .
- Berberine lessens inflammation of the airways caused by inhalation of cigarette smoke (R).
- Inflammation of the blood vessels was improved in a rat study (R).
- Berberine reduced inflammation of the liver and the fat tissues in an animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (R).
5) Berberine Improves Blood Sugar Balance
Overview: Berberine is an ideal treatment for type 2 diabetes (R, R2), working differently from drugs like Metformin (R). It works through increasing insulin, regenerating the pancreatic cells, promoting antioxidant enzyme activity, and decreasing damage to cells (R). Berberine reduces fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, apo b, LDL-C, and total cholesterol while improving glucose tolerance (R, R2, R3).
Berberine addresses blood sugar imbalances in a number of different ways:
- Delays the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars (R).
- Mimics insulin action by increasing the ability of the body to take up glucose (R).
- Additionally, lowers blood sugar by
- Decreasing glucose transport through the intestinal lining (R).
- Increasing insulin receptor expression (R).
- Enhancing glucagon secretion (R).
- Inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) enzyme (R).
- Increasing adiponectin, a protein which helps regulate blood sugar levels (through AMPK) (R).
- Directly increasing AMPK, which stimulates glucose uptake in muscle cells and helps balance high blood sugar (R , R2, R3, R4). It is also a major player in regulating metabolism (R).
- Acutely activating the blood sugar transport activity of Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) (R).
- Activating the fatty acid receptor GPR40 (R).
Improves insulin resistance through:
- Inhibiting NF-kappaB (NF-kB) (R).
- Increasing insulin receptor expression (via protein kinase C) (R).
- Inhibiting production of glucose in the liver (R).
- Improving the gut microbiota (R).
Berberine protects the pancreas against cell death from exposure to excess fat (R).
6) Berberine Promotes Weight Loss
Berberine inhibits the production of body fat through up-regulation of C/EBP inhibitors, CHOP and DEC2 (R).
In a human study of berberine on weight loss, 500 mg berberine was given to obese patients three times daily for twelve weeks. Results included a weight loss average of 5 pounds, as well as a significant improvement of triglyceride and cholesterol stats (R).
Another 3-month study of obese patients with metabolic syndrome used just 300 mg of berberine three times a day. At the end of the trial, the patients’ body mass index (BMI) went down from 31.5 to 27.4 and they lost fat around the middle (R).
7) Berberine is Anti-Cancer
Berberine shows promise as a general anti-cancer agent, killing cancer cells and blocking proliferation (R).
It shows potential as an alternative medicine for tumor chemotherapy (R).
Berberine can also work synergistically with conventional cancer treatments as it has been shown in lab experiments to sensitize many different types of cancer cells to the effects of the conventional chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (R).
- Brain Cancer: Berberine induces cell death in human brain cancer (glioblastoma) cells (R). Studies show it to have a potent anti-tumor effect on Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which is the most common type of malignant brain cancer and known to be a grim diagnosis (R) .
- Breast Cancer: Coptis extracts (which contain berberine) enhance the anticancer effect of estrogen receptor antagonists on human breast cancer cells (R). The effect of Berberine on the growth of anoikis-resistant breast cancer cells was greater than treatment with doxorubicin, a drug commonly used to treat breast cancer (R) .
- Cervical Cancer: Berberine is a potentially promising compound for the treatment of cervical cancer associated with HPV (R). Berberine induces cell death in human cervical cancer cells (R).
- Colon Cancer: Berberine induces cell death in colon tumor cells (through activation of an apoptosis-inducing factor) (R). Derivatives of Berberine are even stronger against colon cancer than the original compound (R).
- Liver Cancer: Berberine induces cell death in liver cancer cells (R). Berberine can inhibit Aspergillus flavus, a common fungal infection that produces cancer-causing compounds in the liver (R).
- Lymphoma: A Berberine derivative inhibits lymphoma in a Chinese study (R). Berberine as a whole shows potential as an anti-tumor agent for Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), associated with AIDS (R).
- Oral Cancer: Berberine induces cell death in human oral cancer cells (R, R2).
- Spinal Cancer: Berberine induces cell death in tumor cells that develop in the spine, according to rat studies (R).
- Thyroid Cancer: Berberine inhibits thyroid cancer cells (R, R2).
8) Berberine Improves Cholesterol Stats
The lipid-lowering effects also result in moderate weight-loss (R).
Berberine has potential as an alternative to statins (R).
The ability of Berberine to lower LDL comes through:
- Increasing activity at the LDL receptor in the liver (R).
- Reducing Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1alpha (R).
- Inhibiting lipid synthesis through activation of AMPK (R, R2).
9) Berberine Lowers Blood Pressure
- Berberine blocks the human platelet alpha-adrenoceptors causing blood vessels to dilate, relaxing muscles, healing ulcers (through antisecretory action in the stomach), causing a sedative effect (R, R2, R3).
- It inhibits ACE and directly releases NO/cGMP in blood vessels, causing a blood pressure-lowering effect (R).
10) Berberine Prevents Heart Disease
- Reducing the formation of plaque in the arteries by reducing foam cell formation (R) and preventing the plaque from breaking off (R).
- Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation of the blood vessels (R).
11) Berberine Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
12) Berberine Helps Arthritis
13) Berberine Protects the Liver
Berberine protects against rat liver fibrosis induced by multiple agents toxic to the liver (R).
It also protected against infection-related liver damage in mice (R).
14) Berberine Prevents and Arrests Colitis/IBD
15) Berberine is Anti-Bacterial
Berberine shows effectiveness against a variety of microbes (R):
- S. aureus,
- P. aeruginosa,
- E. coli,
- Candida albicans,
16) Berberine is Anti-Parasitic
Berberine shows anti-parasitic effects on anaerobic protozoa (R).
Berberine combined with pyrimethamine was effective against malaria in human studies (R).
17) Berberine is Anti-Viral
Berberine acts against the Herpes Simplex Virus (R).
18) Berberine Heals Canker Sores
19) Berberine Treats Diabetic Nephropathy
Berberine reduces fibronectin and collagen accumulation in rat kidney cells exposed to high blood sugar (R).
20) Berberine Improves Mitochondrial Function
Repeated doses of berberine inhibit cytochromes P450 in humans, altering the normal breakdown of drugs (R).
Mild adverse digestive effects were observed among a few subjects in studies: abdominal discomfort (nausea, distension, diarrhea) was relieved by taking Berberine after meals. Constipation was ameliorated by reducing the dose (R).
Start with one capsule a day. Here are some options:
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ARTICLE?