Heard of Berberine?
This little yellow coloured natural chemical has burst onto the scene lately and gained a lot of popularity.
In fact, so much so that people are labelling it the ‘next turmeric’.
Yes - it’s powerful stuff folks, and in this article you’ll find out exactly why it warrants being named alongside some of the long-standing nutrient powerhouses.
What is berberine?
Berberine (Coptis Chinensis, Hydrastis Canadensis) is not a plant itself, rather a vital nutrient found in certain plants. This incredible little nutrient has been thoroughly studied, however although it’s grown in popularity many people still don’t know everything it’s capable of.
Berberine belongs to a family of compounds called alkaloids and affects your body at a molecular level. Like many natural supplements available, berberine has been used extensively in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to treat various ailments. (1)
It’s most commonly used to help strengthen the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and for treating diabetes. Furthermore, it’s also been shown to kill bacteria, improve liver disease and aid in many other conditions. (2)
How does berberine work?
Berberine is transported into the bloodstream where it gets carried to all of the body’s cells. It then works in a similar way to pharmaceutical drugs in a process of ‘binding’ with molecules to change their functions. (3)
Arguably the most important action of berberine is to activate the ‘metabolic master switch’ enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase otherwise known as AMPK. This enzyme plays a major role in metabolism regulation and is found in the cells of the brain, kidneys, heart, liver and muscle. (4 5 6 7)
Berberine is known to potently decrease blood sugar levels and help with insulin resistance making insulin and glucose more sensitive.
Recent studies have found berberine to be effective in the management of diabetes and proved that it can significantly reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. (8)
It also increases glycolysis, helping the body break down sugars inside cells, decreases sugar production in the liver, and slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
In some cases, it has even been found to be more effective than the popular diabetes drug metformin!
It’s no wonder many people these days are taking berberine as a supplement to neutralise their sky-high blood sugar levels.
Great for your cardiovascular system
Berberine is a very powerful arithmetic natural compound that alters potassium channels to protect from increased amounts of intercellular calcium — a major cause of the heart going out of rhythm.
Berberine also decreases blood pressure and increases the performance of the heart muscle. It acts as an anticoagulant to help reduce the risk of clotting and heart attacks while also protecting against ischemia.
Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory immune booster
Berberine is an immune stimulant that helps boost the immune system.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make it very effective for anything with an ‘itis’– think tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis.
Data reported from the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine revealed it can directly suppress functions and differentiation of pro-inflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells, and indirectly decrease Th cell-mediated inflammation.
It does this by suppressing other cells assisting autoreactive inflammation, such as Tregs, DCs and macrophages. (12)
May help with weight loss
Several studies have been carried out to prove berberine’s effectiveness as a weight-loss supplement with promising results.
A 12-week study in obese individuals found that those who took 500mg of berberine per day dropped an average of 5 pounds whilst simultaneously decreasing body fat by 3.6%. (13)
In another study conducted over a 3 month period on men and women with metabolic syndrome taking 300mg of berberine 3 times per day dropped their BMI levels from obese to overweight, lost belly fat and improved a number of other health markers. (14)
Protects against fatty liver disease
Helps fight depression
There has been evidence to show berberine is effective to combat depression. An animal study carried out in 2008 demonstrated that berberine possesses central nervous system activities, with the ability to inhibit serotonin.
Chronic administration of berberine in mice for 15 days significantly increased levels of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine by 19% and 52% respectively. (17)
The bottom line
Berberine is a powerful natural supplement that has many health benefits. It can be used to treat cardiovascular diseases, regulate blood sugar levels and support the immune system. Always choose a high quality, high strength berberine supplement such as Planet Sources Berberine HCL to support a healthy lifestyle.
Written by Kieran Higgins, Health Writer.
Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.
Berberine HCL — “A high quality, high strength berberine supplement.”
Planet Source’s Berberine HCL should be at the top of your list. Its a high quality, high strength berberine that comes from berberis aristata root, also known as Indian Barberry and has a long list of benefits including:
- High potency
- 1200 mg per serving (2 capsules)
- Vegan friendly
- Manufactured in GMP certified facility
- No gluten, corn, salt, soy, yeast or preservatives
We suggest you take two capsules daily. One in the morning with food and one at night with food or as directed by a health care professional.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking any medication, then you should consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements.