If you’ve heard berberine supplements are the next big thing, you’d be right.
What is berberine and how can it help?
You may have heard of goldenseal extract. You may also recognize its deep yellow color and it’s intensely bitter flavor. Both of those characteristics are due to berberine, a chemical found in goldenseal. Berberine is a chemical found in quite a few plants. It can also be found in European barberry, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. Because it has a noticeable yellow color it is sometimes used as a dye. This chemical has been used since Ancient Chinese times due to its numerous health benefits.* It can help to reduce inflammation of blood vessels, lower blood sugar, aide in weight loss, help treat burns and canker sores, reduce bacteria (from food poising, infections and other gastrointestinal problems), and increase heart beat strength.* Modern science is now confirming that berberine does in fact have immense health benefits.* Berberine may be one of those supplements that is good for just about anything!*
Uses & Benefits
Lowers Blood Sugar
In recent decades type 2 diabetes has become an increasingly prominent disease. It causes millions of deaths each year. It is characterized by having elevated blood sugar levels (glucose levels). The high levels of sugar in the bloodstream may be caused by a lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin. Over a period of time this high blood sugar level can cause damage to the body’s tissues and organs. This is a serious health risk and can lead to long-term damage as well as a shortened life. In many studies, however, berberine has been shown to significantly reduce these blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.* Here’s how it works: berberine decreases insulin resistance by making the hormone that lowers blood sugar more effective.* It also increases how much, and how quickly, the body is able to break down sugars.* This process is called glycolysis. Glycolysis is the breaking down of sugars inside the body and cells.* Berberine also decreases the sugar production in the liver and slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.* All of these things help to lower blood sugar.* Berberine users are claiming that this supplement helps with their diabetes immensely!* They are relating it to be as helpful as a popular medicine metformin.* Many people who struggle with diabetes, high cholesterol, or other health problems may often feel frustrated and restricted by western medicine options. If you want to try a more natural version of the pills your doctor is prescribing berberine might be the perfect solution.*
This chemical can aide in weight loss due to the fact that it is believed to improve the function of the fat-regulating hormones such as insulin, leptin, and adiponectin.* It is also believed to hinder the growth of fat cells at a molecular level.* A recent study showed that when obese adults took 500 mg of berberine 3 times each day for 12 weeks they lost an average of 5 pounds each. In addition, the study showed that their cholesterol level was also reduced.* As previously mentioned, berberine slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates – meaning you feel full for longer.
In addition to its numerous other benefits, berberine also lowers cholesterol.* Heart disease is currently the world’s number one cause of premature death. Heart disease describes a large range of conditions that affect the heart. This disease can be caused by a congenital deformity, an irregular heart rhythm, a buildup in the arteries due to high cholesterol, and many other conditions. People who suffer from heart disease may experience chest discomfort, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and other various symptoms. Berberine has been shown to improve many of the factors that increase the risk of heart disease.* One major factor is that it helps to lower cholesterol. This ensures that you do not have a buildup in your arteries leading to this severe disease.* Berberine has been shown to lower cholesterol, lower LDL levels, lower blood triglycerides, and raise HDL levels.* The two major risks of heart disease are high blood sugar levels and obesity. Both of these factors are proven to be improved with this supplement which in turn significantly decreases the risk of heart disease.*
Treats Burns & Canker Sores
Research has shown that berberine can be applied as a topical gel. When used as a gel on a burn or sore it can reduce pain, redness, oozing, and the overall size of the ulcer.*
This supplement is known to be a powerful antioxidant.* Inflammation can lead to a number of serious health concerns. Antioxidants help to relieve some of this inflammation.* This supplement can help with inflammation due to gastrointestinal concerns, the common cold or the flu, inflammation due to stress or anxiety, and many others.*
Berberine is known to help kill bacteria due to its antimicrobial properties.* For centuries it has been used to help with food poisoning.* It is also used when trying to regulate gut health.* Our gut is filled with bacteria, some good and some bad. When the bad bacteria is overgrown it can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, flatulence, and other unpleasant symptoms. This supplement helps to regulate bad bacteria in the gut and helps to increase the good, or helpful, bacteria.* It has been widely used to improve overall gastrointestinal health.* Because this plant-based supplement helps detoxify it is widely sought after for gastrointestinal support.*
The majority of studies on berberine cited dosages between 900 and 1500 mg per day. The most common dosing is to take 500 mg, 3 times per day, before a meal. This is a total of 1500 mg. This supplement has a half-life of several hours so it is important to spread out the dosages as equally as you can. This is optimal to achieve stable and consistent blood sugar levels. Berberine is typically taken in pill form but, as previously mentioned, it can be found as a topical gel as well. It was once unknown if berberine was able to be absorbed when consume orally but recent research shows that it is not only absorbable but it also metabolizes quickly.* This dosing is for the typical adult. Children should not be given this supplement unless consulted by a doctor. If you are currently taking other blood sugar or cholesterol reducing medicine you should also check with your doctor before starting on this supplement.* Since this is a broad plant-based supplement it is not typical to see negative side effects, instead, you will most likely see one, if not all, of the amazing advantages!*
Overall, berberine has very little negative effects due to the fact that it is derived right from plants.* The most common negative side effects are related to digestion. There have been a few reports of cramping, diarrhea, and stomach pain.* If you are hesitant about how this natural supplement may impact your body you should start by taking it once a day.* After a few weeks you can increase the dosing to two or three times a day for maximum effects.*
The Bottom Line
If you take supplements you may want to add this to your collection. If you are not currently taking supplements but are hoping to feel better and stay healthier then I’d start with berberine. With so many amazing health benefits it is quickly becoming one of the most popular supplements out there.*