Ever come across a supplement that just seems to tick all the right boxes?
That's exactly how you'll feel when you start using berberine, a plant-based compound that's been making waves in the health and wellness world for weeks now. It's always exciting when a traditional natural remedy gets a modern nod of approval, and that's precisely the case with Berberine, a plant-based compound extracted from a specific group of plants, making a name for itself due to its multitude of health benefits1.
What is Berberine?
Berberine, an alkaloid used by plants for protection and growth regulation, is extracted from herbs such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric2. Though berberine has been used for centuries in various traditional medicinal practices, it's only recently that scientific research has begun to acknowledge its benefits.
10 Reasons to Take Berberine
1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Berberine works at a molecular level to help regulate your blood sugar3. By reducing insulin resistance and slowing down the breakdown of carbs in your gut, it supports your body's natural insulin utilization and helps keep your blood sugar levels in check4.
2. Aids in Weight Loss
3. Improves Gut Health
Berberine can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. These bacteria aid digestion and play a significant role in maintaining overall health7.
4. Supports Heart Health
The alkaloid has shown to improve several factors associated with heart health, such as reducing LDL ('bad') cholesterol levels and increasing HDL ('good') cholesterol8.
5. Helps Combat Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Berberine can help manage these conditions, improving overall health9.
6. Potentially Beneficial for PCOS
Studies suggest that berberine might be effective in managing PCOS by improving hormonal and metabolic parameters10.
7. Boosts Immune System: Berberine's potential to regulate gut bacteria can also indirectly support immune function, as a healthy gut is crucial for a robust immune system11.
8. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Berberine also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can help your body fight off various diseases and speed up recovery12.
9. Antioxidant Properties
Berberine displays antioxidant activity, which means it can neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, protecting your cells against damage13.
10. Promotes Longevity
By helping to combat many health problems, berberine might contribute to a longer, healthier life14.
Best Practices for Taking Berberine
Before you start using berberine right away, here are a couple things you might want to do first for best results;
1. Start with a low dose
Yes, I know; berberine is simply incredible and you can't wait to start using it right away.
But it's also important to remember that while it's super effective, it may also be too much for a handful of people to cope with on a full dose right off the bat, which is the major factor we took into consideration when we making our very own Berberine Complex.
In the past, I've had a couple of clients complain about anywhere from mild to severe side effects when taking other brands of berberine HCL just because of the concentration or how barely regulated some of these other brand's capsules can be, which can be too much much to handle for some folk.
But with Berberine Complex, each capsule contains exactly 500 mg of Berberine, and you're able to get a way more controlled dosage suited to your tolerance level this way.
2. Pair with a Probiotic supplement
Bad gut health is one of the key reasons why a lot of people experience gut related side effects when using berberine, which is why it's also worth considering pairing berberine with a probiotic supplement, to prevent any unwanted side effects and also so they can work synergistically to improve your gut health15.
Berberine has emerged as a promising supplement, demonstrating potential benefits from blood sugar regulation to heart health. Remember, while berberine can offer a host of benefits, it doesn't replace a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
- Yan,H., et al. (2021). Berberine enhances the AMPK activation and autophagy and mitigates high glucose-induced apoptosis of mouse podocytes. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 476(1), 235-244. ↩
- Imenshahidi, M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2016). Berberine and barberry (Berberis vulgaris): a clinical review. Phytotherapy Research, 30(3), 347-364. ↩
- Zhang, Y., Li, X., Zou, D., et al. (2008). Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(7), 2559–2565. ↩
- Yin, J., Xing, H., & Ye, J. (2008). Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 57(5), 712–717. ↩
- Hu, Y., Ehli, E.A., Kittelsrud, J., et al. (2012). Lipid-lowering effect of berberine in human subjects and rats. Phytomedicine, 19(10), 861–867. ↩
- Zhang, Z., Zhang, H., Li, B., et al. (2014). Berberine activates thermogenesis in white and brown adipose tissue. Nature Communications, 5, 5493. ↩
- Zhang, X., Zhao, Y., Zhang, M., et al. (2012). Structural changes of gut microbiota during berberine-mediated prevention of obesity and insulin resistance in high-fat diet-fed rats. PloS One, 7(8), e42529. ↩
- Kong, W., Wei, J., Abidi, P., et al. (2004). Berberine is a novel cholesterol-lowering drug working through a unique mechanism distinct from statins. Nature Medicine, 10(12), 1344–1351. ↩
- Cicero, A.F.G., & Tartagni, E. (2012). Antidiabetic properties of berberine: from cellular pharmacology to clinical effects. Hospital Practice, 40(2), 56–63. ↩
- An, Y., Sun, Z., Zhang, Y., et al. (2014). The use of berberine for women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing IVF treatment. Clinical Endocrinology, 80(3), 425–431. ↩
- Zhang, W., Xu, J.H., Yu, T., et al. (2010). The effect of berberine on reproduction and metabolism in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2016, 2916025. ↩
- Zhu, L., Zhang, D., Zhu, H., et al. (2018). Berberine treatment increases Akkermansia in the gut and improves high-fat diet-induced atherosclerosis in Apoe-/- mice. Atherosclerosis, 268, 117–126. ↩
- Yue, S.J., Liu, J., Feng, W.W., et al. (2019). System pharmacology-based dissection of the synergistic mechanism of Huangqi and Huanglian for diabetes mellitus. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10, 1180. ↩
- Cicero, A.F.G., & Ertek, S. (2009). Metabolic and cardiovascular effects of berberine: from preclinical evidences to clinical trial results. Clinical Lipidology, 4(5), 553–563. ↩
- Cani, P.D., & de Vos, W.M. (2017). Next-Generation Beneficial Microbes: The Case of Akkermansia muciniphila. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 1765. ↩
About the Author
Arman Eckelbarger is an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder and a Certified Personal Trainer dedicated to empowering others with his age management and wellness expertise. Winner of the 2019-20 Master's Nationals Over 50 Welterweight, Arman proves that age is just a number in achieving fitness goals. He lives by his wellness principles and inspires others to reclaim their vitality for a healthier and fulfilling life.