Berberine health benefits includes promoting weight loss, supporting blood sugar management, helps reduce cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risk, support liver health, contain natural antibiotic properties, may help control hypertension, can enhance female fertility, and may assist with management of depression
Berberine is one of those compounds that is likely to fly under your radar completely, even though it is actually one of the best natural compounds in the world. Yes, in the world.
It possesses several benefits on health and is even comparable to many prescription strength medication, which is why in this article we are going to be telling you more about this super compound.
What Is Berberine?
Berberine is classified as an alkaloid, extracted from many different plants including those known as the Berberis family. It has been exploited for centuries, most notably in Chinese medicine, and is today becoming very popular in the western world as well.
10 Proven Health Benefits of Berberine
1. May Promote Weight Loss
Berberine shows promise in helping to promote weight loss, possessing a unique mix of mechanisms that are different from other compounds that claim to help with weight loss. For instance, it can help to prevent the growth of fat cells, which has a definite impact on decreasing fat storage potential.
In addition to this, it also helps enhance the functioning of the many hormone involved in fat storage, such as insulin and leptin to name a few.
There have been two studies conducted to date that showed this promise, as subjects lost an average of 5 pounds over 12 weeks, but it will still be a while and several tests later before it may hit supplement shelves.
2. Supports Blood Sugar Management
One of berberine’s major benefits has to be the part it plays on reducing blood glucose levels, which is not insignificant. In fact, studies have shown that it can possibly reduce fasting blood sugar levels by an average of 20%.
It is so good at this that it has drawn comparisons to the common anti-diabetic medication metformin, but without the high frequency of commonly associated intestinal side effects the drug is known for.
The way it effects a reduction in blood glucose levels comes about via several mechanisms working at once, including its ability enhance insulin sensitivity (and reduce resistance), suppress production of glucose by the liver, and promoting the usage of sugars by cells.
Doses of about 1g daily seem ideal for blood sugar management, and it appears to be exceptionally effective at optimizing blood glucose levels that is otherwise difficult to manage.
3. Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Controlling cholesterol levels is serious business. This is especially true owing to the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death the world over, which could be avoided to a great extent if effective dietary measures are taken.
When it comes to reducing overall cholesterol levels, one of the easiest things that can be done is to supplement with berberine.
Studies have shown that it is effective at reducing LDL, triglycerides and overall cholesterol levels, while also simultaneously increasing levels of the good cholesterol – HDL.
It is believed to do so by blocking the actions of a specific enzyme which in turn facilitates removal of greater amounts of LDL from circulation.
Its additive effects on reducing cholesterol as well as blood glucose levels is believed to contribute to a great reduction in cardiac risk.
4. Reduces Cancer Risk
Although berberine is not a guaranteed cure for cancer, studies conducted on it to date it have shown exciting results. Most importantly, it appears to have a future as a chemotherapy adjuvant, as it can reduce the growth speed of several types of cancers, and also suppress the rate of metastasis that occurs.
These studies have been done in labs and on animals, but before it is approved as treatment for humans more studies definitely need to be undertaken in this area.
5. Supports Liver Health
Berberine above all else appears to be a compound that supports homeostasis of the body as a whole. In terms of liver support, it can help reset elevated liver enzymes, and has shown potential in helping reduce the accumulation of fat around the liver, especially in people diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
While not initially dangerous, accumulation of fat in and around the liver decreases its functional potential, and even increases your risk of more serious complications such as cirrhosis, which over time leads to scarring and liver damage.
6. Natural Antibiotic Properties
Lab studies conducted have shown that berberine might have a future as an antibacterial agent, helping to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This bacteria is very troublesome, and usually the cause of many serious health conditions including pneumonia, meningitis, several different skin infections and even sepsis.
Berberine is believed to damage DNA of these bacterial species, causing errors in replication that renders the cells susceptible to easy destruction by the immune system.
7. May Help Control Hypertension
Berberine has two effects when it comes to its actions on high blood pressure. When consumed by people with normal blood pressure, it can help to prevent the eventuality of hypertension developing. If it still does, it is usually only classified as mild hypertension, and is usually easily controlled. On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed as hypertensive many years ago, it can potentiate the effectiveness of medication prescribed when consumed concomitantly.
Of course, combined with dietary interventions it is likely to yield the greatest results on your blood pressure management.
8. Can Enhance Female Fertility
Fertility of women may be decreased owing to several factors, with one of the most common being a diagnosis of PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. This condition is usually characterized by high production of androgens that affects female fertility and causes hormonal imbalance.
One of the most common treatments to increase fertility in women diagnosed with this condition has been to administer the medication metformin, since these women are also much more likely to be overweight, have varying levels of insulin dysfunction, along with higher cholesterol values and possibly hypertension.
Combined with other prescription fertility medications, berberine can help to normalize ovulation and boost the chances of a successful pregnancy occurring.
9. May Assist With Management Of Depression
Depression can have a profound impact on the affected individual and their support network, leaving a large number of people feeling drained and burnt out from its effects. While many antidepressant medications exist that do work, they usually occur with undesirable side effects as well.
The use of berberine can help to mitigate some of the side effects, as used synergistically together it can lead to a reduction in the needed dose of the prescription medication.
By inhibiting the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain that promote a good mood such as serotonin, it helps promote an accumulation of this neurotransmitter, subsequently positively influencing your mood.
This is the exact mechanism by which many antidepressant medications work.
10. Helps Reduce Symptoms Of Arthritis
Berberine possesses significant anti-inflammatory actions, which make it an attractive option for managing chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Studies conducted compared groups using berberine against those not using it, and have revealed significant reduction in discomfort in subjects that used it. Combined with other effective anti-inflammatory agents such as turmeric, it might help to suppress the activity of the immune system in causing pain and inflammation leading to pain free movement.
Berberine Side Effects
Berberine is well tolerated, but may cause undesirable side effects in a small number of users. These might include:
It is advised to always consult with a physician before use, but this is especially important before combining with other medication or if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Berberine is a major powerhouse that sets itself apart from millions of other natural compounds since many of its benefits have been documented and studied. Your health is likely to improve significantly by consuming more of it, so be sure to get your hands on some.
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