Berberine is a chemical present in various plants that has multiple medicinal properties. Since ancient times, berberine has been used as a natural remedy to treat infections and digestive ailments. Today, this active principle has been gradually gaining prominence in the world of health.
Some of the proven benefits of berberine include the following:
1. Berberine for weight loss
With the constant increase in the weight of the world’s population, attempts have ultimately created drugs to combat obesity for a long time. However, given the lack of success in recent years, research is now focused on natural alternatives to chemically created drugs.
The key to berberine’s effect on weight is its ability to activate AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase). AMPK is like a metabolic switch that sits inside the body and drives fat burning by the mitochondria (the energy centres of the body’s cells). When activated, we naturally burn more energy.
2. Did you know that berberine is beneficial for polycystic ovaries?
Insulin sensitivity is critical for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When the body’s cells become indifferent to insulin, we must produce more to get our cells to accept nutrients. The increased level of insulin acts on the ovaries to make them produce excess testosterone. It can have significant consequences on fertility and produce several androgenic symptoms, including excessive hair growth, acne, and acanthosis nigricans ( Acanthosis Nigricans), the medical term for the thick, dark patches of skin that generally appear in the armpits and around the groin and neck area.
How does berberine benefit PCOS?
Berberine depresses insulin and blood glucose levels like metformin, which is regularly advised for PCOS. Berberine increases and regulates the expression of insulin receptor genes in cells, allowing them to absorb glucose at lower insulin levels, so they don’t need to produce as much. It also prevents the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet, reduces the production of glucose in the liver, and decreases the levels of harmful bacteria in the intestine, which reduces inflammation.
3. Berberine for diabetes
The effects of berberine in diabetes are comparable to those of metformin. As we have seen in the section on PCOS, it can reduce insulin levels, lower blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose production in the liver. It can also decrease the number of carbohydrates digested in the body and the amount broken down by the body’s enzymes. Additionally, it can help reduce harmful bacteria in the gut, as well as chronic inflammation, which is characteristic of diabetes.
4. Berberine to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
Berberine shows to lower blood cholesterol levels.
A recent analysis of 18 previous studies on berberine and cholesterol showed that it can (8):
- Lower total cholesterol levels by 0.61 mmol/L (24 mg/dL).
- Lower LDL-C levels (the bad cholesterol) by 0.65 mmol/L (25 mg/dL).
- Lower blood triglyceride levels by 0.50 mmol/L (44 mg/dL). Heart Disease Risk and High Blood Pressure
- Increase HDL-C levels (the good cholesterol) by 0.05 mmol/L (2 mg/dL).
5. Benefits of Berberine for Candida
Candida is a yeast found in the intestine and the mouth. Small amounts are needed to help us digest food, but when it gets too high, it can cause problems and is not easy to treat. An excessive increase in candida can cause damage to the intestinal wall, causing the release of toxic results into the body, known as leaky gut.
6. Berberine for acne
Berberine has an antilipogenic consequence on the sebaceous glands, so it can help people with acne. Research shows that in cases of modest to severe acne, a dose of 600 mg daily was able to improve symptoms by up to 45% after just four weeks (acne symptoms were measured by counting total non-inflamed, inflamed, and totals, as well as using the Michaelson Acne Severity Score).
7. Berberine for depression
One of the benefits of berberine is that it may help with depression. Research has only been done on mice and rats, but studies have shown that berberine can increase brain serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levelsbrain.
In addition, inflammation has a link to the development of symptoms of depression. Since it can reduce inflammation in the body, this may be another mechanism through which it may work against symptoms of depression.
8. Berberine May Benefit Lung Health
Being a potent anti-inflammatory, it can also help with acute lung inflammation caused by cigarette smoke. A 2013 study gave mice 50 mg/kg of berberine, which caused critical lung damage with cigarette smoke. And found that berberine pr
Berberine is a natural medicine that is one of the few dietary supplements as effective as prescription drugs. It has incredible effects on various conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But its ability to treat thyroid problems and its long-term effects are unclear.