Berberine Benefits

Berberine Benefits

6 minute read

Countless diet, weight loss, and health trends are making the rounds amongst the eager ears of health-conscious folks around the globe. Among them, supplements have always been widely touted as an essential that could immensely improve your overall wellbeing. At the moment, one such vitamin that is gaining a lot of interest is the berberine supplement.


In the United States alone, the vitamin industry is a billion-dollar business. Considering how the number of vitamin consumers is continuously on the rise, there must be actual benefits derived from their intake, right? After all, why would people be spending and consuming a myriad of colorful pills daily?

Supplements and What Science Has to Say

When you think about it, getting all the needed nutrients through a pill sounds easy and convenient. However, not all supplements can deliver on the supposed health benefits. In some instances, incorrect dosing can be dangerous.


On the other hand, when taken with proper guidance, multivitamins and dietary supplements can provide vitamins and minerals you aren’t getting from your daily meals, especially if you are in the habit of consuming junk food or fast food too often.


Aside from providing the body with nutrients, many reports insist that supplements can have countless curative advantages that cannot be seen in chemically produced medication. Though there is still some debate about the therapeutic claims of supplements, a lot of research data exists on the subject.


For instance, studies conducted on diseases like type 2 diabetes have shown an improvement in people who have been using a berberine supplement. It is therefore no surprise why berberine went from being unknown to one of the most sought out supplements.

Berberine: A Quick Overview

Berberine is not a fruit or a plant. Rather, it is a chemical (bioactive compound) that can be extracted from a variety of plants. Some examples include tree turmeric, Phellodendron (cork tree), European barberry, greater celandine, Oregon grape, and goldthread.


Often used as a dye, berberine contains alkaloids that have been known to have positive effects on a molecular level. Much of the interest in this powerful supplement can be traced to its ability to reduce your blood sugar levels among other things.

How Does Berberine Work?

Upon ingestion of berberine, your bloodstream carries it to the cells of the body. It then latches on to other different molecular structures before changing their functions the same way pharmaceutically made drugs work.


More importantly, the use of berberine benefits the AMPK enzymes that are found within the cells. The enzyme not only plays a huge role in your metabolism, but it can also be found in cells located in your brain, liver, kidneys, heart, and muscles.


By now you must be curious about what berberine benefits you can reap from taking the supplement. Just like many other multivitamins and medicinal alternatives, the full efficacy of the supplement is still up for debate. To date, numerous experiments have been done and are continuously being done to prove the claims. The benefits listed here have shown the most results in past research. Read on to find out more.

Canker Sores

Studies have shown the use of topical gels that contain berberine resulted in pain reduction and a decrease in oozing, redness, and swelling. 


If you are suffering from the inflammation of the airways brought about by allergens, it is said that the routine intake of a berberine supplement can help reduce it drastically. Similarly,  studies based on animals indicated that it can decrease swelling found in the blood vessels, fatty tissues, and liver.


The main reason why berberine is now gaining traction is due to its capacity to reduce the blood sugar levels of people who suffer from diabetes. Earlier research also indicated that the consumption of the supplement three times daily for a span of 90 days can effectively control sugar levels just as well as rosiglitazone or metformin. 

High Cholesterol

A regular intake of this supplement has shown to have lowered the bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels of people within two years. Comparisons of berberine supplement with cholesterol decreasing medication has further indicated the same lowering effects.

High Blood Pressure

When combined with blood pressure–lowering drugs, berberine can reduce systolic blood pressure after a 60-day regular intake.


Polycystic ovary syndrome or more simply known as PCOS can cause a combination of issues like high cholesterol levels, weight loss issues, insulin resistance, and increased blood sugar levels. Women who participated in several studies saw an improvement in their health with obvious changes and reduction of PCOS-related issues.

Weight Loss

Researchers believe that if you take berberine you stand to benefit from the weight loss that is a direct result of improved functions involving insulin, leptin, and adiponectin. Upon further investigation, berberine intake appears to inhibit the growth of fat cells, thus leaving researchers to believe that it can be used as a weight-loss option. It should however be noted that more studies must be conducted to support these findings.

Potential Side Effects

With the good comes the bad, and just like many alternative and pharmaceutical medications, it is inevitable to find a few berberine side effects. So, before you start taking any, please note the following potential issues you may encounter.


Those who partook in the studies have reported several digestive complications. Extreme flatulence, diarrhea, stomach pains, cramping, and constipation were experienced by some of the test subjects. These symptoms aren’t the worst, and while they are manageable, it took several weeks for them to clear up.


Excessive intake can produce the opposite results in people with high blood sugar levels or those with high blood pressure. Although it has shown efficacy in lowering these health concerns, in some people it has caused it to drop severely low. Be mindful of your intake in case you suffer from any of the aforementioned issues.

The Final Prescription

Evidently, berberine can be found in many plants, particularly those in the barberry species. Though many of the plants that contain berberine compounds have long been present in traditional medicinal usage, the full health benefits still remain under study.


For the time being, those who are interested in experiencing the advantages that modern science has disclosed can easily buy their berberine supplement from health stores and online retailers. When taken at the recommended dosage and with the guidance of a health professional, you can start seeing improvements in your health in a matter of weeks. For best results, always consult your physician.



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