Two studies have shown that taking a berberine supplement over the course of three months results in significant weight loss. This may be due to the way berberine helps control insulin and other hormones that regulate fat cells. In recent years, the herbal compound berberine has been explored as a possible therapy in diabetes. Herbs containing berberine, such as gold seal (Hydrastis canadensis) and Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) are available in the U.S.
market and are most commonly marketed for improved immune system, antibacterial and antiparasitic effects, and gastrointestinal health (largely due to antimicrobials) effects). The Chinese herb Coptis chinensis is also an important source of berberine, although it is less well known in the United States. Most studies on berberine for diabetes have been conducted in China and, consequently, have used Coptis extracts. Few U.S.
manufacturers sell any of the herbs that contain berberine to control blood sugar. In addition to its hypoglycemic effects, berberine also reduced triglycerides much more than rosiglitazone or metformin. A study published in Clinical Endocrinology showed that people who were assigned a woman at birth with PCOS who were randomly selected to take berberine had higher pregnancy rates than those who took metformin (an insulin-sensitizing drug) or a placebo. The effect of berberine is similar to what you would see in someone who increases exercise while restricting calorie intake because it activates AMPK, making it a useful tool in managing type 2 diabetes.
Given the beneficial effects on all of these risk factors, it seems likely that berberine can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease. A small trial in animal models of diabetes found that berberine led to a decrease in the activity of sugar-digesting enzymes located in intestinal wall cells. Affuso's group found that, when combined with 200 mg of red yeast rice, 500 mg of berberine led to significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides after a six-week trial. Berberine is thought to offer benefits to people with PCOS, including better fertility, aid with weight loss, and a lower risk of metabolic complications associated with the condition.
Researchers in China have studied the effects of berberine on different types of human cells, including cells of the liver, colon, immune system and pancreas. If not, you can use berberine (in combination with the other supplements above) with these medications temporarily to increase the weight loss effect. This is very important because it reflects berberine's ability to increase metabolism (probably through mitochondrial production and brown fat production). The most common side effects of berberine appear to be gastrointestinal in nature, and tend to be transient and sensitive to dose reductions.
They presume that berberine can kill certain gut bacteria that contribute to increased inflammation and insulin resistance. Berberine reduced triglycerides (the main form of fat in the body) and liver function enzymes and improved overall liver function. Berberine has been shown to reduce generalized inflammation through its effects on the COX2 pathway (. To make sure you're getting the most out of berberine, you need to make sure your dose is high enough.