This simple, natural chemical has a long history as a treatment for a variety of health issues. Supplementing with berberine has the potential to make for a useful and effective deterrent against an assortment of unhealthy effects, while also acting as a booster for some healthy outcomes.
What Exactly is Berberine?
Per medlineplus.gov, berberine is an alkaloid chemical found in various plants, including goldenseal, goldthread, European barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. It has been touted for a variety of medical benefits, some supported by scientific study and some not. Berberine is consumed both orally and topically, depending on the presenting health issue.
Berberine has a long history of use in Eastern medicinal traditions. Per doctormurray.com, alkaloids such as berberine have been used as medicine for many centuries. Berberine also has a history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, which is one of the oldest medicinal traditions in the world. Since the early 20th century, berberine has been popularized as a treatment in China, and has in more recent years been rising in popularity in the West.
The Biggest Medicinal Benefits of Berberine
One of the hallmarks of berberine is its amazing capacity to help in the treatment of a fairly wide assortment of health conditions, all of which can play a significant role in hindering our health. Some of the more noteworthy of those health conditions are summarized as follows:
Diabetes treatment is at the forefront of scientific research on berberine’s efficacy as a treatment. Per doctormurray.com, a meta-analysis of 27 scientific studies has shown that berberine is effective in reducing fasting blood-sugar levels and after-meal blood-sugar levels in diabetic individuals. Additionally, berberine was found to be just as statistically effective in treating Type II diabetes as some standard oral hypoglycemic drugs.
Reducing high blood pressure. In this regard, berberine’s health-inducing value is well-supported by scientific study, per medlineplus.gov. For one thing, berberine has been found to be an effective booster of the blood pressure-lowering effect of the drug amlodipine. Taking berberine in tandem with amlodipine was shown to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure more than just taking amlodipine alone. For those experiencing severe or long-term high blood pressure, adding berberine to one’s treatment plan could be very worthwhile.
Reducing high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood of individuals with high cholesterol is also a scientifically backed benefit of berberine, per medlineplus.gov. When compared to standard cholesterol-lowering medications, it was shown to be just as effective in lowering both total cholesterol and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. It might also be effective in lowering triglyceride levels.
Reducing canker sores is a relatively minor, but well-supported, benefit of taking berberine, per medlineplus.gov. Canker sores are often harmless, but can cause pain, oozing, and redness. Applying a berberine gel to the affected area can help get rid of canker sores much quicker.
Further Potential Benefits of Berberine
Protecting the liver is a potential effective use for berberine, per globalhealing.com. It can be effective at preventing fat build-up in the liver, on account of its effectiveness in preventing unhealthy fat accumulation in the blood. There is some scientific evidence supporting the notion that berberine might help prevent liver disease.
Immune system support is an important potential benefit of berberine. Per globalhealing.com, berberine has natural antibacterial properties which can help fight harmful bacteria in the body. In this case, it can be especially helpful in preventing gastrointestinal infections.
Boosting the learning process is a potential mental benefit of taking berberine. It has been shown to potentially provide nootropic effects, meaning that it can be useful for one’s basic cognitive processes such as learning and memory. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics are believed to help in this cause
Reducing inflammation that’s been caused by smoking is a potential positive effect of berberine, per life-enhancement.com. There is evidence through a study involving mice that showed that mice exposed to cigarette smoke who then received a dose of berberine developed less lung inflammation than mice that did not receive berberine.