Berberine is a bioactive chemical that may be derived from a variety of plants, including the Berberis genus of shrubs. It belongs to the alkaloids family of chemicals. It has a yellow colour and has been used as a dye in the past. Berberine has a long history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of illnesses.
It is a natural supplement that is one of the most effective on the market. It offers a wide range of health advantages and has an impact on your body at the molecular level. it has been found to enhance heart health, decrease blood sugar, and induce weight reduction, to mention a few benefits. It’s one of the only supplements that has been proven to be as effective as a prescription medication.
Hundreds of research have now been conducted on berberine.
It has been demonstrated to have significant impacts on a variety of biological systems.
Berberine is absorbed by the body and delivered into the circulation once it is consumed. Then it enters the cells of the body. It attaches to numerous distinct “molecular targets” inside the cells and alters their function. This works in the same way as prescription medicines do.
However, one of berberine’s major functions is to activate an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase in cells (AMPK)
This enzyme is also known as a “metabolic master switch.” It’s present in the cells of the brain, muscle, kidney, heart, and liver, among other organs. This enzyme is important for metabolic regulation.
Berberine has an effect on a variety of other chemicals within cells, and it may even influence which genes are switched on or off.
Berberine and weight loss
Berberine may be useful as a weight-loss supplement as well.
The researchers assume that better fat-regulating hormone activity, such as insulin, adiponectin, and leptin, is responsible for weight loss.
It also appears to have a mechanistic effect on fat cell development.
However, additional study into the benefits of berberine on weight loss is required.
Berberine may lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart diseases
According to several studies, berberine works by blocking an enzyme called PCSK9. This leads to more LDL being eliminated from the circulation
It’s worth noting that diabetes, high blood sugar, and obesity are all important risk factors for heart disease, and all of them appear to be reduced by this supplement. Berberine consumption has been shown in clinical studies to decrease cholesterol levels.
According to a review:
Total cholesterol was reduced by 0.61 mmol/L (24 mg/dL).
LDL cholesterol was reduced by 0.65 mmol/L (25 mg/dL).
Reduce triglycerides in the blood by 0.50 mmol/L (44 mg/dL).
Raising HDL cholesterol by 0.05 mmol/L (2 mg/dL)
in people who took berberine as a supplement.
Berberine and Blood sugar
High blood sugar levels can harm the body’s tissues and organs, resulting in a variety of health concerns as well as a shorter lifespan.
Berberine has been shown in several trials to dramatically lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
In fact, its efficacy is equivalent to that of the widely used diabetic medication metformin (Glucophage)
It appears to act through a variety of mechanisms:
- Reduces insulin resistance, which improves the effectiveness of the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin.
- Increases glycolysis, which aids in the breakdown of carbohydrates within cells.
- Reduce the liver’s sugar production.
- In the stomach, it slows the digestion of carbs.
- Increases the amount of good bacteria in the intestine.
Berberine is a bioactive compound found in various plants, including the roots, stems, and bark of certain medicinal herbs such as Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Coptis chinensis (goldthread), and Berberis aristata (tree turmeric). It has been traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for its potential health benefits.
One area of interest regarding berberine is its effect on blood sugar levels. Research suggests that berberine may have antidiabetic properties and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Here are some key findings:
Glucose metabolism: Berberine has been shown to activate an enzyme called adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which plays a crucial role in glucose metabolism. By activating AMPK, berberine promotes glucose uptake in cells, enhances insulin sensitivity, and reduces glucose production in the liver.
Insulin secretion: Berberine may also stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas, which helps to lower blood sugar levels. It can enhance the function of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for insulin production.
Glycemic control: Several studies have demonstrated the ability of berberine to lower fasting blood glucose levels and improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It has been observed to reduce HbA1c levels, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
Lipid metabolism: Berberine has been found to have additional benefits on lipid metabolism. It can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and increase HDL cholesterol levels, which are all important markers of cardiovascular health.
It’s important to note that while the research on berberine’s effects on blood sugar is promising, it is still ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand its mechanisms and optimal use. As with any supplement or medication, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using berberine, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking other medications, as it may interact with certain drugs. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific health situation.
Berberine and Cancer
Berberine has been shown to decrease cell growth and be cytotoxic to cancer cells in recent years. Many derivatives have been created based on this data to increase berberine efficiency and selectivity; the findings achieved so far on human cancer cell lines support the hypothesis that they might be promising cancer therapy agents.
Berberine may help with depression, cancer, infections, fatty liver, and heart failure, according to preliminary research. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.