Berberine is a powerful plant alkaloid, which is defined as a class of organic compounds containing mostly nitrogen atoms. This particular alkaloid has a profound, beneficial effect on human health. In fact, there is an amount of clinical research on the health-promoting effects of berberine.
According to an array of various studies, berberine is shown to possess a wide range of health benefits, including:
- Anti-aging effects
- Digestive Tonic
- Heart Tonic
- Regulate cholesterol
- Normalize blood pressure
- Immune tonic
- Weight control
- And more...
Top Berberine Benefits
During one study on berberine found that it can lower chronically elevated blood glucose, prevent and treat type II diabetes and its associated symptoms, like cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy. 1, 2
In fact, studies have found that 500 mg of berberine was able to control blood sugar and positively affect lipid metabolism as effectively as metformin, the standard for diabetic medications. Considering metformin comes with negative side effects like:
- physical weakness (asthenia)
- gas (flatulence)
- symptoms of weakness, muscle pain (myalgia)
- upper respiratory tract infection.
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- abdominal pain (GI complaints), lactic acidosis (rare)
- low blood levels of vitamin B-12.
berberine makes for a great, natural alternative to this harsh medication. 3
Other studies have also found that berberine improves the cellular utilization of glucose, lipid metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity by adjusting adipokine secretion. 4
2. Neurological protection
Studies have evaluated the therapeutic potential of berberine against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s disease and stress-induced neurodegeneration. Upon examination, it was found that berberine possesses multiple mechanisms in which it can enhance brain health, acting as a neuroprotective agent that inhibits neurodegeneration. 5
3. SIBO treatment
SIBO, also known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a condition of excessive bacteria in the small intestines, which is otherwise sterile when healthy. Most conventional treatment of SIBO consists of the use of antibiotics, which isn't always effective. With such a rise in this condition and the failure on behalf of conventional treatments, more people are seeking alternative therapies for treatment.
In one study that examined the remission rate of SIBO using berberine, compared to antibiotic use, it found that berberine worked just as well as antibiotic treatment. Considering antibiotic use can deplete vitamin K2, and potentially lead to nerve damage, this makes berberine a safer, yet equally effective alternative. 6
4. Lung Health
One of the key features of berberine is its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are especially therapeutic for lung inflammation. In fact, berberine has been shown to reduce the inflammatory and stress effects of cigarette smoke.
According to the study, mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke-induced inflammation, who then given 50 mg of berberine had significantly lessened signs of lung inflammation, e, ema and injury. In other words, berberine mitigated the inflammatory effects of smoke in the lungs. 7
5. Parkinson's, Dopamine & Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a central modification underlying the damage of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our hypothesis is that drugs able to stabilise mitochondria (like berberine) could prevent or arrest the evolution of dopaminergic damage and restore movement control in PD.
According to the study, 2 major conclusions were made; berberine can prevent and/or revert PD and also, berberine positively effects mitochondrial function and the formation of free radicals in dopaminergic rich regions.
Where to Find and How to Use Berberine
Berberine can be found in extract form, most commonly as berberine HCL. You can also find it actively in a few medicinal herbs such as Turmeric and Coptis (goldenthread).
Most studies recommend a dosage of 900 to 1,500 milligrams per day. The most common dosage is 500 milligrams/three times per day for a total of 1,500 milligrams per day.
It is best to be taken with a meal, shortly after, or even better, use Coptis or Turmeric in a tonic beverage such as in our Tonic Golden Milk recipe. 1 tsp. of our Coptis extract will give you 500 mg.