If you’re like me, you’ve been hearing a lot about Berberine supplements lately.
Recent articles proclaim Berberine as the be-all, do-all supplement of the ages.
Advertisers would have you believe that Berberine helps with everything from Diabetes to Pregnancy. But do you believe them? Is Berberine safe? If so, which supplements are best, and what should you look for?
We’ll show you everything you need to know in 2022 about Berberine Supplements.
We’ll cut through the noise and hype and give you a piece of practical and down-to-earth information about the pros of taking Berberine and its possible side effects.
When you finish this post, you’ll have all the knowledge needed to make a safe and educated decision in choosing if Berberine is suitable for you.
Let’s jump right in.
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a natural compound found in plants and tree bark such as European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.
The Chinese have been using Berberine for thousands of years to treat Gastrointestinal issues and inflammation. Chinese studies have shown improvements in blood glucose levels, A1C, cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart health.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 56 participants with type 2 diabetes were given either 500 milligrams (mg) of Berberine or a placebo twice daily for three months. At the end of the study, those who had taken Berberine had significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) than those who had taken the placebo.
In cases of poorly managed type 2 diabetic patients, all had a significant lowering of A1C and cholesterol levels, suggesting that Berberine could be considered as an alternative treatment for type 2 Diabetes. However, more studies are needed to determine if this is achievable.
Berberine supplements can cause very low blood sugar levels when taken with diabetes medication and insulin. Monitor your blood sugars when taking Berberine.
It’s important to understand that Berberine is considered food, so the FDA does not regulate it, so you should always consult your healthcare provider before taking it.
What are the benefits of Berberine supplements?
Berberine supplements treat a wide variety of conditions. As reported by PubMed and the National Library of Medicine of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), studies have shown improvements in the treatments of; (click on each to view the studies)
In the study, canker sores treated with Berberine gelatin reduced size better than with placebo gelatin.
This controlled study showed that patients’ blood glucose and A1C levels were lowered compared to the drug Metformin.
Patients with heart issues were subjected to walking exercises and then regulated and monitored over eight weeks. One-half of the group was given Berberine supplements. The Berberine treated group showed a lower mortality rate, increased exercise capacity, and improved quality of life. The group on the placebo had a higher mortality rate and worse test results.
Another study showed that taking 1 gram of Berberine daily for three months decreased systolic blood pressure by 6% on average.
One study showed that taking 500 mg of Berberine daily for 12 weeks reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol by 36%, total cholesterol by 27%, and triglycerides by 29%.
Each study shows that Berberine significantly lowered blood glucose levels and cholesterol and improved heart health and quality of life.
What are some other benefits of Berberine?
Berberine has been shown to reduce BMI (Body Mass Index)and shrink belly and waist size.
Berberine may also help promote weight loss by helping to lower insulin levels and increase fat burning.
In one 12-week study in obese people with insulin resistance, those who took 500 mg of Berberine three times daily lost an average of 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) more than those who took a placebo. Additionally, they had reductions in body fat percentage and waist circumference.
When taken in lower doses, Berberine improves gut health and aids in the relief of diarrhea and constipation.
Berberine can also improve the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Urinary Tract Infections
The Journal of Chemotherapy published a 2018 study that showed lesser UTIs and cystitis (the inflammation associated with UTIs) in controlled groups taking Berberine supplements compared to those who took compounds and supplements related to the use of cranberry juice.
How does Berberine work?
Taking Berberine activates an enzyme called AMP or activated protein kinase (AMPK). This enzyme is found in the heart, liver, brain, kidney, and muscle cells and tissue.
AMPK enzymes help regulate metabolism and hunger control. It also helps increase insulin resistance and helps lower blood glucose levels inside the cells.
In addition to its effects on AMPK, Berberine also appears to increase certain ‘good’ bacteria in the gut while reducing inflammation-promoting compounds like lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These changes in gut microbiota may explain some of the observed health benefits of Berberine.
Is Berberine safe?
When taken in lower doses (300-500mg, three times a day), Berberine is a safe and effective supplement. However, taking Berberine over an extended period and at higher doses can produce side effects.
Always check with your healthcare professionals to see if Berberine supplements interact with medications.
What are the side effects of Berberine supplements?
Studies have shown that when taken in higher doses (over 2000mg daily), Berberine supplements can cause symptoms of headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence. Lowering the daily intake usually resolves these issues. Stop taking Berberine and seek medical help if symptoms persist.
Is Berberine safe for pregnant women?
No. Pregnant women should not take Berberine supplements if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy.
Berberine can cross the placenta and could harm a fetus. Research showed that Kernicterus, a type of brain damage, has been found in newborn children exposed to Berberine.
Gestational diabetes accompanies most pregnancies, but you should avoid the temptation to take Berberine supplements as an alternative to drugs to control blood sugar levels. Your healthcare provider should monitor your glucose levels and prescribe the proper regimen to manage them.
What are the best Berberine supplements?
We looked at available Berberine supplements and narrowed it down to our top 3 picks.
Our #1 pick: Berberine Plus
From Doctor Recommended Supplements, this Berberine supplement is a single pill, max dose, and single ingredient of Berberine HCI.
This product is All Natural, Free of Soy, Gluten, Milk, Egg, Wheat, GMOs, Peanuts, Sweeteners, Shellfish & Sugar. They are made In the USA! With NO Artificial ingredients, binders, color additives, chemicals, fillers, or preservatives.
This product has a 100% satisfaction Guarantee.
Our #2 pick: Sunergetic Premium Berberine supplement
This Premium supplement is an excellent value at an affordable price.
This Berberine HCI complex is manufactured in an FDA-registered facility that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Our #3 pick: Thorne Research Berberine 500
Thorne is the choice of champions and is trusted by 100+ pro teams. Thorne is the only supplement manufacturer collaborating with the Mayo Clinic on wellness research and content. Thorne is also a proud partner of the U.S. Olympic Teams.
This supplement is Gluten free and free of eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, yeast, soy, fish, or shellfish.
Final thoughts on Berberine supplements
Well, there it is; Berberine supplements (everything you need to know in 2022).
Now you have all the information you need to make intelligent choices regarding your health.
Which Berberine supplement will you try?
Are you leaning towards a certain one?
I’m excited for you to try Berberine!
Leave a comment and let me know your choice. I’d love to hear how your health improves.
Keep me posted on your progress.
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