What does Berberine Do for the Body?
What does Berberine do for the body? This is one of the commonly asked questions by the people. Due to increased awareness among people, they are again turning back to the traditional methods for treating several illnesses and health issues. Moreover, many researchers are busy in finding the medical importance of traditionally used plants.
All of this led people to search for the importance and use of Berberine as medicine to treat health issues. Consequently, from the past few years, it has gained a lot of popularity. Keeping all this in mind in this article, we will explain about Berberine in detail. What does Berberine do for the body, what are its benefits, or any side effects? We will shed light on all these things, so continue reading the article.
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a chemical or a bioactive substance extracted from different plants from a group of a shrub called Berberis. These plants include European barberry, goldthread, Oregon grape, tree turmeric and goldenseal. Its history dated back to 3000 years and is commonly used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicines.
Strictly speaking, it belongs to the alkaloids class of plants and is yellow. Consequently, also used as a dye in the past. It has a long history of treating several human illnesses. Besides, it can work in multiple ways to cure diseases.
There are numerous ways to use Berberine you can either take it orally or directly apply to the skin. Although Berberine supplements are popular as a medicine since traditional time, however, it is always better to consult your doctor before starting using them.
How does it work?
Till now, numerous successful studies are done on the Berberine that has shown its powerful impact on different biological systems. Once you take the Berberine supplements, these are transported into the bloodstream. From there, they travel to the body's cells. When they finally reach inside the cell, it binds to different molecular targets. Consequently, it changes its functions. Moreover, it works similarly to how pharmaceutical drugs work.
Berberine activates the enzyme within the cell known as AMP-activate protein kinase (AMPK), also known as the metabolic master switch. Thus, this enzyme can affect significant organs of the body like heart, kidney, brain, muscles and liver. Moreover, it also plays a vital role in regulating metabolism.
Besides, Berberine also causes strong heartbeat, thus helping with several heart issues. Apart from this, it helps with regulating blood sugar and killing bacteria and reducing inflammation.
What does Berberine Do for the Body?
Berberine supplements are no less than a magic pill. Consequently, they provide numerous health benefits. Keeping in consideration its benefits and in light of several researches, Berberine is an excellent medicine for the treatment of several health issues. And is, therefore, considered as an excellent replacement for medical therapies.
Use of Berberine is effective in health conditions, including:
Results of numerous studies suggest that use of Berberine is effective in type II diabetes. Moreover, the effectiveness of Berberine is not less than popular diabetes drugs. It shows a positive effect on blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides. Those who cannot use existing diabetes drugs Berberine is a great option.
When you take Berberine supplements, it activates AMP-activated protein kinase that can ultimately regulate how your body will use blood sugar. However, don’t take these supplements before your doctor consultation.
High levels of cholesterols can result in an increased risk of heart diseases and strokes. However, according to one study, the use of Berberine is associated with lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. Not only its use can reduce low-density cholesterol, but it improves the level of high-density good cholesterols.
Berberine moves excess cholesterol to the liver where the body can process it and remove from the body—consequently lowering the level of cholesterol and triglycerides.
High blood pressure is probably one of the most common health issues and is the leading cause of numerous health issues like heart diseases. Instead of using high blood pressure drugs use them along with Berberine to increase their effectiveness. Besides, scientists also suggest that Berberine can delay the onset of high blood pressure.
Thus, many people suggest that Berberine is excellent for heart health. However, it lacks evidence and researches are still going on.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal and metabolic imbalance in females due to the high level of certain male hormones, thus leading to infertility. However, the use of Berberine can address several issues of PCOS, including high insulin level, high blood pressure, or weight gain.
Moreover, the use of Berberine is similar to the metformin on blood sugar. Therefore, Berberine is a promising treatment in PCOS with insulin resistance. However, further studies are still needed because there is no evidence of whether Berberine can increase the chances of pregnancy in women with PCOS or not.
It is also famous as an effective weight loss supplement. Till now, not much research is done. However, there are only two authentic researches in this regard. In one study obese people took 500 mg of Berberine results in loss of 5 pounds.
Researchers suggest that loss in weight is a result of the improved function of fat regulating hormones like insulin and leptin. Moreover, Berberine also activates brown adipose tissues that help to turn food into body heat, thus facilitating to lose weight.
Berberine use is known to be very useful in different types of cancer treatments as it can create changes in the molecules of the cell. One study shows that Berberine has a strong inhibitory effect on cancer including liver cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer and cervical cancer.
While another study suggests that Berberine supplements play a crucial role in killing cancer cells, however, keep in mind that these are the result of laboratory research.
Several studies support the fact that Berberine has therapeutic properties against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer, Parkinson disease and trauma. Although more research is needed in this regard, one study reveals its multiple positive impacts on brain health.
Besides, it also states that the use of Berberine is excellent in fighting against depression. Moreover, researches show that Berberine contains elements that protect central nervous activities. And lastly, they also help to lift mood by the degradation of serotonin and norepinephrine.
How to Use it?
Berberine is readily available in the form of a supplement usually in the form of Berberine HCL. There is not any exact dosage or in how much quantity you should take it. However, most studies recommend a dosage of 1000 to 1500 mg in a day. But due to its short half-life, it is recommended to take it three times a day to keep your blood sugar level balanced.
Therefore, the best way is to take 500 mg of Berberine three times a day. You can either take it with a meal or shortly after a meal to take benefit of blood sugar and lipid spike. Keep in mind that an acute amount of its high dosage might result in stomach upset, diarrhoea and cramps.
Before taking it, consult your physician to determine the best dosage for you accurately. Besides, you can also apply it directly to the skin to treat a burn or eye infection caused by bacteria.
Generally, there are not any severe side effects of the Berberine and are good for the short term usage. However, still more research is needed on the safety of its long-term usage. Sometimes, it might result in gastrointestinal issues or reduce blood sugar level.
If you are previously on medication, including antibiotics and especially those taking medicines to lower blood sugar level should consult their doctors first. As it helps lower blood pressure, therefore, don't take it, you suffer from low blood pressure problems. Besides, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should not take it.
There are certain drugs with which you cannot take Berberine. As instead of providing benefit, these combinations are harmful to you. Firstly, never take Berberine with cyclosporine (Neoral). Berberine slows down the process of breakdown of cyclosporine. Therefore, too much accumulation of cyclosporine in the body has serious side effects.
Also, avoid taking Berberine with cytochrome P450. It is broken down by the liver, but the presence of Berberine slows down liver activity. Therefore, all the medicine broken down by the liver stays longer in the body and results in numerous health issues.
Berberine has been used as a medicine since ancient times and is as effective as drugs. It has numerous powerful effects on the human body, like lowering blood sugar, lower high blood pressure, helpful in different types of cancer and lower blood cholesterol level. It doesn't have any severe side effects. Moreover, you can either buy it online or from the medical store. I am sure now you get your answer, what does Berberine do for the body.