THE BENEFITS OF TAKING BERBERINE
Time to read 5 min
Time to read 5 min
Have you ever heard of berberine? No, it’s not a new dance move. But you could call it a new ‘buzzword’, and for good reason.
Berberine is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in certain plants, including Chinese Goldthread, Barberry, and Tree Turmeric. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for millennia to treat various ailments. Recently, its popularity as a dietary supplement has grown exponentially thanks to its purported health benefits, which include weight management (Tillhon, M et al. 2012).
Berberine is quickly becoming one of the most popular supplements in health and wellness today, but why? It all comes down to how berberine works in the body to achieve its reported benefits. Berberine is known as an alkaloid compound and can be found naturally in certain herbs and plants. Berberine works by improving blood glucose levels due to its ability to reduce resistance to insulin receptors (Pang, B et al. 2015).
That being said, berberine can regulate many aspects within the body related to metabolism, including weight, cholesterol levels, fat storage and cell turnover rates. Furthermore, berberine’s anti-inflammatory properties help bolster its effectiveness concerning cardiovascular health and overall immune system support (Dong, H et al. 2012). But let’s take a closer look at some of its reported benefits and how they may benefit you!
If you’re looking for health benefits with zero commitment, look no further than berberine. This natural health supplement has a range of health benefits, and it’s as easy to take as it is effective. Berberine is known to have positive effects on blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and weight management - so whether you need better health management or are just looking for an extra edge in your fitness regime, berberine is worth checking out.
Berberine has recently gained recognition as an effective weight loss supplement. The berberine extract, derived from the berberis species of plants, has long been used to promote metabolic health in traditional Chinese medicine, and it appears to work on multiple levels to help with weight management.
Studies have shown that berberine supplements for weight loss assist by controlling blood sugar levels, promoting healthy digestion and increasing fat metabolism. It also helps people feel fuller for longer - a key factor in anyone struggling to hit their weight targets (Dong, et al. 2012).
While many of the studies on berberine are in their infancy, the available research suggests that berberine is a natural phenomenon in the weight management space.
One of the berberine supplement benefits that is becoming increasingly highlighted is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Berberine works by modulating cytokine production, which has been discovered to play a role in the maintenance of inflammation. In other words, berberine helps to control inflammation and reduce swelling. Even more exciting is research looking into berberine’s potential in protecting against chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis (Shen, P et al. 2020)..
Berberine can help to suppress synovial joint inflammation along with cartilage and bone damage. It supports this by inhibiting the inflammatory proliferation of FLS cells, which are non-immune cells found in synovial tissues. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory syndrome marked by synovial joint inflammation that can lead to cartilage degradation and bone damage (Shen, P et al. 2020).
Berberine may offer underlying mechanisms that can treat RA through its modulation of several signalling pathways involved in joint inflammation (Shen, P et al. 2020).
Research has suggested that berberine has potent blood-sugar-lowering effects that may offer support when managing glucose levels.
High blood sugar levels are often prevalent in conditions like diabetes and prediabetes due to decreased insulin production or sensitivity. While your blood sugar levels can naturally fluctuate throughout the day, prolonged high levels can cause numerous health problems. In light of this, research suggests that berberine may help lower blood sugar levels via various pathways (Raman, R. 2021).
In terms of supporting healthy glucose levels, research has suggested that berberine can decrease blood glucose, enhancing insulin sensitivity and reducing weight gain. Berberine has been reported to improve lipid metabolism in both animal and human subjects (Yin, J. 2012).
Additionally, berberine may help to increase glycolysis, reduce glucose production in the liver, and increase nitric oxide production. It appears to be a promising treatment when lowing blood sugar levels and may be valuable to those who cannot take certain medications or are looking for extra support (Raman, R. 2021).
Increasing research into berberine has suggested that the natural chemical has the ability to affect cognitive function. This supplement has the potential to affect behaviour and cognition, focusing on mood-related disorders and memory-related aspects (Shou, J.W et al. 2022).
Berberine can be effective for increasing oxytocin receptors, activating 5-HT2 receptors, may regulate gut microbiota and may modulate the central noradrenergic system. These actions can all impact symptoms of mild anxiety and low mood. Berberine supports these areas of cognitive function and behaviours by primarily combating oxidative damage and alleviating inflammatory damage (Shou, J.W et al. 2022).
Berberine has been researched in relation to heart health, with 11 studies suggesting that it may lower cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol, lower blood triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol (Gunnars, K. 2017).
It can also lower apolipoprotein B by 13-15% and may inhibit an enzyme called PCSK9, leading to more LDL being removed from the bloodstream. Diabetes, high blood sugar levels and obesity are major risk factors for heart disease. Research suggests that supplementing with berberine can improve these conditions (Gunnars, K. 2017).
Berberine is one of the most effective natural supplements available on the market. It offers a range of health benefits that can support your body, from supporting weight management, inflammation and glucose all the way down to cognitive function; supplementing with berberine has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine and has been reported by modern science to offer many impressive benefits.
Dong, H et al. 2012, ‘Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-anaylsis’, Evidence Based Complement Alternat Med, accessed 20 January 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23118793/
Tillhon, M et al. 2012, ‘Berberine: a new perspectives for old remedies’, Biochem Pharmacol, accessed 20 January 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22842630/
Pang, B et al. 2015, ‘Application of berberine on treating type 2 diabetes mellitus’, Int J Endocrinol, accessed 20 January 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22842630/
Shen, P et al. 2020, ‘Immunomodulatory effects of berberine on the inflamed joint reveal new therapeutic targets for rheumatoid arthritis management’, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, accessed 24 January 2023, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcmm.15803#:~:text=Berberine%20can%20suppress%20synovial%20joint,and%20adjusting%20the%20gut%20microbiota.
Raman, R. 2021, ‘Can Berberine Supplements Help Manage Diabetes?’ Healthline, accessed 24 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/berberine-diabetes
Yin, J. 2012, ‘Effects and mechanisms of berberine in diabetes treatment’, Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, accessed 24 January 2023, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211383512000871
Shou, J-W et al. 2022, ‘Therapeutic Efficacies of Berberine against Neurological Disorders: An Update of Pharmacological Effects and Mechanisms’, Neurodegenerative Diseases and Natural Products: Signaling Pathways, accessed 24 January 2023, https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/11/5/796
Gunnars, K. 2017, ‘Berberine - A Powerful Supplement With Many Benefits’, Healthline, accessed 24 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/berberine-powerful-supplement