May 21, 2024

Berberine is a naturally occurring compound found in several plants. Berberine supplements have been associated with a variety of potential health benefits, such as weight loss, blood sugar control, heart health, and the treatment of chronic conditions. Keep reading to find out more about what berberine is and how it may be beneficial for your health.

What Is Berberine?

european barberry plant

Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be extracted from certain plants, including goldenseal, European barberry, cork tree, goldthread, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. This chemical belongs to a class of compounds called alkaloids. It has a yellow color and bitter taste. Berberine has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Modern studies have indicated that it may be beneficial for many health concerns, including the treatment of several metabolic health conditions.

How Does It Work?

Hundreds of studies have tested the safety and function of berberine. One way berberine works is by activating an enzyme in the cells called AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK. This enzyme is found in cells throughout the body and plays an important role in regulating metabolism and energy levels. Berberine also influences other molecules in cells and is thought to affect which genes are turned on and off. This function may help protect against chronic conditions.

Benefits of Taking Berberine

People most commonly take berberine supplements to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver disease, and many other health conditions. According to research, some of the conditions that berberine may be able to help treat include:

1. Diabetes

at-home blood sugar test

Berberine shows promising potential as a diabetes treatment, as research has found that it can positively affect blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides. Studies show that taking a combination of berberine and blood sugar-lowering drugs may be more effective than the drugs alone.

2. Bacterial Infections

In a 2022 study, berberine helped inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacteria that can cause health problems such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and skin conditions. Further research found that the compound could damage the DNA and proteins of certain bacteria, meaning it may be an effective antimicrobial agent.

3. High Cholesterol

There is evidence to suggest that berberine may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as increase good cholesterol levels. Research has found that lifestyle changes combined with berberine worked better than lifestyle changes alone in the treatment of high cholesterol.

4. Weight Loss

woman's foot stepping on scale

Studies have found that berberine may be effective in supporting weight loss when used along with diet and exercise. It is especially effective for weight loss in individuals with metabolic syndrome.

5. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PCOS is a hormonal and metabolic imbalance that is linked to many issues that berberine may help improve. For example, individuals with PCOS often also have diabetes or high levels of insulin, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or weight management issues.

6. Inflammation

Inflammation plays a role in a variety of health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and gastrointestinal conditions. Studies have found that berberine has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it may aid in the treatment of inflammation-related health conditions.

7. Gut Health

woman holding replica of digestive system

Berberine may have a positive effect on the gut microbiome. It has been shown to have antibacterial properties that seem to reduce harmful bacteria in the gut. This then allows healthy bacteria to grow, improving balance in the gut.

8. Cancer

Because berberine can make changes within the molecules of cells, it may have the benefit of fighting cancer. One study discovered that this compound has “clear inhibitory effects” on certain cancers, including lung, ovarian, cervical, prostate, liver, and colorectal.

Get Berberine Supplements at Hines Street Pharmacy

These are some of the biggest potential benefits of berberine for your health. Are you interested in trying it for yourself? Here at Hines Street Pharmacy, we offer a berberine supplement that has five times the bioavailability of regular berberine, which means your body is able to use it much more easily so you can reap its many health benefits.

Do you have questions about taking berberine or want to learn more about ways to improve your health? Please reach out to us at Hines Street Pharmacy and our experienced pharmacy team will be happy to help!