What Benefits Can I Get from Berberine? Berberine is a compound derived from a Chinese herb, offering a variety of health and a track record in traditional medical practices dating back thousands of years. In recent years, the effects of berberine have caused it to re-emerged as one of the newest ‘it' supplements, its many reported benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to supporting cognitive and digestive health. Berberine's versatility has quickly become legend. Doctors and health-conscious consumers familiar with its benefits rave about this plant-based wonder. This potent antioxidant has been the subject of more than 4,000 studies, and the results are in: the multitude of benefits has made it a true ‘go-to' supplement that has become a ‘must-have' in kitchen and medicine cabinets across America.
Berberine Simplifies MattersResearching and buying the right supplements suitable for their health needs can be a head scratcher for consumers – there are so many choices out there. What should you get, and where should you start? Once you discover an all-around beneficial herb such as berberine, things can get a lot simpler. Berberine on its own can fill a lot of health needs, making those buying choices that much easier. Put them all together, and berberine's benefits have bolstered its reputation as an anti-aging compound. Think about it: berberine can promote your heart health; bolster your metabolism so as to help balance out your blood sugar levels, induce weight loss while ramping up your energy level; strengthen your brain health and stave off age-related cognitive decline; provide added resistance against everyday sickness-causing bacteria; and enhance and support digestive, pancreatic, and kidney function. Feeling younger already?
What Exactly Is Berberine?Berberine is a bioactive agent that belongs to a class of compounds known as alkaloids, which are organic ring compounds that contain nitrogen and, often, oxygen, per healthline.com. It can be extracted from several types of plants, among them goldenseal and barberry. Once ingested, it is absorbed into the body and carried via the bloodstream to the body's cells; once inside the cells it binds to assorted molecular destinations, in effect changing those molecular functions in a manner much like to how pharmaceutical drugs work. It is not a drug, however; it is a naturally occurring compound.
A Summary of Berberine's BenefitsHere's a closer look at the most touted benefits. Be sure to discuss any of these with your physician if you have questions:
- Heart health. Berberine can induce the body's release of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that can relax the blood vessels. That improves blood flow while lowering blood pressure and helping to keep your arteries from hardening. Berberine also can benefit your heart by working to maintain healthy levels of triglycerides, and cholesterol, which in turn can lead to a reduction in the overall risk for heart disease.
- Cognitive health. Studies show that berberine has been used to bolster neurotransmitter activity tied to long-term cognitive health while also guarding the welfare of your brain cells. Per National Institutes of Health (NIH), berberine can also thwart cholinesterase, an enzyme that can hinder a neurotransmitter needed for memory function, focus, and concentration.
- Diabetes. As cited at articles.mercola.com, a study involving 500 mg of berberine taken two to three times a day for three months proved as effective as the popular diabetes drug metformin in controlling blood sugar and blood lipid metabolism.
- Weight loss. The presence of berberine can prevent the storage of fat in your body. It can also enhance the effectiveness of hormones such as improving insulin and leptin, thus contributing to the reduction of visceral fat.
- Depression. Some research has shown that berberine can prove beneficial in boosting your levels of noradrenaline and serotonin, which are hormones known as mood enhancers.
- Infections. Berberine supplements can help guard against infectious agents such as viruses, fungi, and parasites that left unchallenged can make you sick. This is especially beneficial when it comes to your digestive health and its role in maintaining optimal function of your immune system.