Berberine, the buzzworthy supplement that has taken over the health and wellness industry in recent months. It may be the first time you’re hearing of it, but this herb is far from new; it’s been around since the early 1900’s and utilized for a variety of health issues. We’re here to give you the run-down on this increasingly popular supplement.
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a natural compound found in several medicinal plants such as European barberry, goldendeal, goldthread, Oregon Grape, phellodon and tree turmeric. It can be taken as an extract or as an herb. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat various health concerns. Recently, studies have shown that berberine may be beneficial for reducing body weight.
Berberine is so beneficial and powerful that even the pharmaceutical companies decided to create their version of the supplement. Metformin, a widely used drug among the diabetic community mimics the effects of berberine in the pharmaceutical industry. Before considering adding berberine to your daily supplement routine, you should consult with your physician.
How does it work?
It works through 4 mechanisms; lowers inflammation, balances gut microbiome, insulin signaling and metabolism.
Berberine is a well-known, powerful antimicrobial and antifungal. An overgrowth of bacteria and yeast will create an increase in inflammation and eventually disrupt glucose metabolism and insulin signaling. Chronic inflammation levels will eventually spike our stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol also increases with estrogen in the body, triggering hormone imbalances seen in cases of PCOS, diabetes and hirsutism.
This powerful supplement also has a significant effect of activating AMPK enzymes in the body. This specific enzyme is involved in glucose metabolism. Glucose metabolism is the process in which our bodies break down carbohydrates into simple sugars that turn into glucose to be sent through the bloodstream. Activating AMPK enzymes will pull glucose into the mitochondria of the cell to be burned or used for fuel.
Studies have shown that berberine will help with insulin signaling and glucose levels. Remember, if insulin is high for a long period of time, it is near impossible to lose weight. Insulin is a storage hormone and is high when your body has fuel within the body ie. sugar. The body will not begin to burn fat if it believes it has enough energy to sustain bodily functions.
Additional health benefits and dosage
Berberine has been found to have a number of beneficial effects on the body, particularly due to its ability to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies suggest that berberine can help improve ovarian function in women with PCOS, reduce symptoms such as acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth), and even reduce weight gain caused by hormonal imbalances. Additionally, it may also be effective in reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.
Studies also show that berberine can help with depression, reduce growth of microorganisms like fungi, viruses and bacteria as well as reduce the chance of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Given its many potential health benefits, berberine is an excellent choice for those who are looking for natural solutions to manage chronic health concerns like PCOS. If you’re interested in trying berberine for yourself, make sure to consult your doctor first before taking any supplement.
It is recommended that an individual should take 500mg of berberine about 20-30 minutes before each meal to achieve maximum benefits. As mentioned previously, if you are currently taking other medications, it is important to consult with your primary physician before beginning a protocol. It has been reported that berberine can cause diarrhea, constipation and digestive discomfort in some cases.
If you’re looking to lower chronic inflammation, control PCOS, improve insulin sensitivity and improve your gut microbiome, berberine is a natural and effective option!