Berberine is a unique substance which occurs naturally in various herbs and plants. It is distinct from other plant compounds, such as polyphenols. Berberine has the potential to positively regulate blood sugar and provide other benefits as well.
The Background on Berberine
Berberine is a bioactive compound which occurs naturally in certain shrubs and trees.
It belongs to a class of natural compounds known as alkaloids. Berberine is known for its stark yellow color, which explains its use as a dye. A long tradition of berberine’s use exists in the Indian Ayurvedic medicinal tradition, as well as in ancient Chinese medicine. One of the oldest plants from which berberine has been harvested is the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis.
Berberine Benefits for Blood Sugar, and More
Berberine has a prominent reputation and applications as a regulator of blood sugar. However, it has other minor applications as well. Here is a look at how berberine could help you.
Regulating blood sugar is a priority for those with diabetes, and berberine is regarded as a natural option for accomplishing this in diabetic individuals. A review published in 2021 showed that taking a berberine supplement daily corresponded with improved blood sugar levels, improved insulin resistance, and reduced inflammation in those with Type II diabetes. The same review, as well as other studies, support the use of berberine in tandem with, or within the context of, traditional medical approaches to managing diabetes.
However, similar research suggests that berberine alone can work just as effectively as some standard drug treatments for diabetes. In other words, berberine can help lower blood sugar in diabetic people when it’s taken alone, but could be even more effective when taken in the context of traditional treatment. Berberine has also been shown to have potential to reduce blood lipid levels, including negative low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides. This makes berberine a potential benefit in preventing heart disease. Decreasing lipid levels in the blood could reduce blood pressure and prevent the hardening of the arteries, which help prevent heart failure, as well as stroke.
Other potential benefits include:
- Benefiting women with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. Regulating blood sugar and lipids could improve hormonal health in women with PCOS.
- Weight loss: Research on berberine has shown that it could contribute to weight loss in those who take berberine for its other medicinal effects. By reducing blood sugar and lipid levels, individuals with diabetes or PCOS could experience some weight loss as a beneficial side effect of this herbal supplement.
- H. pylori infection in the digestive tract could be combated with a berberine supplement, when used in tandem with other prescribed medications.
- Oxidative stress & inflammation could be reduced by taking a berberine supplement, according to some preliminary studies, per healthline.com.
The unique benefits of the plant-derived alkaloid berberine could be of use to you or a family member who is diabetic, or experiencing PCOS. Bear it in mind when considering your natural treatment options. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking berberine, since it could have some mild side effects in some people.