What Is Berberine?
is a "bioactive compound" found in various plants belonging to the Berberine genus, which include goldenseal, tree turmeric, European barberry, and others. More specifically, berberine is an alkaloid compound made up of carbon and nitrogen. The compound is extracted from the roots, stems, or leaves of these plants. Check out our
Berberine has long been used in both eastern and Native American medicine. It has been used in both the Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian traditional medicine) traditions
for thousands of years. It was also used by Native American tribes as a mouthwash, and for other purposes
Many healing qualities have historically been attributed to berberine and in the present day. There is scientific evidence to back up some of these claims, while others are supported by anecdotal testimony and recommendations.
Top 10 Benefits of Berberine
All of the benefits listed below are worthwhile potential benefits of berberine. These rankings, in descending order, are roughly based (in our view) on the combined significance of the listed benefit, and berberine's likelihood to help treat it effectively. Ask us next month, though, and we might reshuffle this list, but we thought giving you a countdown would make this more interesting.
Any of the following are reason enough, on their own, to consider incorporating berberine into your supplement regime. Some of these reasons might be more important to you than others. It is important that you always talk to your doctor before trying any new supplement.
10) Reducing inflammation
- might be possible with berberine, because it may contain anti-inflammatory properties
. Diabetes and very many other conditions are associated with bodily inflammation.
9) Supporting metabolism
- and supporting weight loss
could be possible with berberine. It helps to increase the efficiency of your metabolism, which might help support weight loss.
8) Supporting your immune system
- is a benefit of berberine because of its ability to help fight infectious bacteria
. It is particularly helpful at fighting gastrointestinal infections that require an immune response. Another helpful supplement to support the immune system is
7) Lowering blood pressure
- in those with high blood pressure is possible, when combined with medication. This is supported by a meta-analysis of various scientific studies
6) Canker sores
- can be treated with berberine gel. It has been shown to reduce the pain, redness, and swelling associated with canker sores
. It is one of multiple home remedies recommended for this ailment.
5) Fighting bacteria
- might be an effective use of berberine. One study has found that taking berberine helps reduce the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that sometimes causes staph infections, pneumonia, and other ailments. It may also help inhibit the growth of other bacteria.
4) Fending off free radicals
- which are linked to various kinds of disease, and the signs of aging, might be possible with berberine. Free radicals are produced within the body as a result of certain processes, but they lead to damage to cells. Berberine helps activate AMP-activated protein kinase, an enzyme which slows down the production of free fatty acids, a prominent type of free radical.
3) Treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- may be possible with berberine, because of its efficacy in addressing a number of the symptoms associated with PCOS
. This syndrome is a hormonal and metabolic imbalance that can have various effects on a woman's body, including infertility. Science suggests that berberine might be effective at reducing diabetes or high insulin, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which are associated with PCOS.
2) Reducing negative cholesterol
- is possible with berberine. In fact, some science suggests that it is just as effective as normal cholesterol medication
. Specifically, it is useful in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad cholesterol," as well as triglyceride levels, in people with high cholesterol.
1) Managing diabetes
- has been supported by scientific research as a possibility of berberine. When used in combination with diabetic medication, it was found to support the efficacy of such medication at lowering blood-sugar
levels in diabetics. In diabetics who couldn't take typical diabetic medication due to other health concerns, it was also shown to help treat the disorder.