Berberine-containing supplements have been popping up in wellness stores worldwide recently. The demand for these products results from the increasing studies citing the compound’s immense health benefits.
But if you’re yet to try berberine, you’re bound to wonder whether the substance truly lives up to its claims. Well, this article shall help shed more light on that.
Read below as we introduce berberine, highlighting some of its perceived health benefits.
What Is Berberine?
Berberine, also known as berberine hydrochloride, is a compound in plants touted for its diverse therapeutic abilities. Chemicals have been part of folk medicine for thousands of years, particularly in Chinese and Ayurvedic medical practices.
Research has shown that berberine may ameliorate the symptoms of various common ailments. These range from diabetes to hypertension and even some cancers.
The fact that berberine occurs naturally in plants implies that you can meet your recommended daily intake (RDI) by increasing your consumption of foods high in the substance. Alternatively, you could invest in berberine supplements.
However, if you wish to explore more forms of vitamin B3, products formulated with niagen can help significantly with lifestyle illnesses. Consequently, it will depend on which formulation suits your body.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Berberine?
1. Combating Bacterial Infections
One of the most common advantages is its ability to fight bacterial infections. Studies have shown that increased berberine intake may help inhibit the growth of bacterial agents.
A 2016 laboratory study proved that berberine could fight the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria by preventing its growth. This is the same bacteria associated with pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and various dermatological issues. Therefore, it’s evident that consuming berberine may offer a range of health benefits.
Separate studies have shown that berberine exerts its antibacterial effects by damaging certain bacteria’s DNA and basic cellular structures.
2. Reducing High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, like many other cardiovascular diseases, is a silent creeper. Most victims won’t realize that their blood pressure has risen beyond normal levels until the condition has degenerated
Fortunately, hypertension is manageable. Regular berberine intake is one way to reduce blood pressure spikes or even prevent the condition.
An animal-based study suggests that berberine might delay the onset of hypertension while also reducing its severity. Even better, research indicates that berberine may work synergistically with antihypertensive drugs to manage high blood pressure.
3. Lowering LDL Cholesterol Levels
A surge in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides levels has been linked to increased risks of cardiovascular problems, particularly stroke and heart disease. Therefore, any compound that lowers LDL cholesterol plays a direct role in improving cardiovascular health.
A review examining berberine-based studies on both humans and animals found that the substance may reduce hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels). But that’s not all.
Berberine also proved effective at lowering LDL levels while increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol in the bloodstream.
4. Managing Obesity
Obesity is one of the leading lifestyle conditions. It’s usually the result of poor dietary choices and a lack of a robust workout plan.
The disease falls into different categories, depending on its underlying cause and its core symptoms. Common ones include dietary obesity, nervous obesity, endocrine obesity, and genetic obesity.
A double-blind study found that people who consumed 200 milligrams of barberry demonstrated a significant decrease in their body mass index. Barberry is a plant noted for its high concentration of berberine. So, this experiment was clear proof of berberine’s potential anti-obesity effects.
5. Treating Diabetes
Diabetes and obesity usually occur side by side. The two medical conditions may also have a cause-effect relationship. That explains why many anti-obesity interventions also work for diabetes.
Like obesity, diabetes comes in many forms. The most prevalent one is type II diabetes, which accounts for 1.5 million deaths annually in low and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Fortunately, many studies indicate that supplementing with berberine might help reverse these statistics.
A 2014 research experiment demonstrated that berberine could treat diabetes just as effectively as common antidiabetic medications. The compound is especially effective in people who cannot administer their regular antidiabetics due to complications like organ failure.
6. Alleviating PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a severe condition whereby women produce high levels of certain male hormones, particularly androgen. The syndrome may lead to infertility issues if not urgently addressed.
Irregular periods are the tell-tale sign of polycystic ovary syndrome. However, the disease may present a range of other symptoms, including insulin resistance, hypertension, excess fat build-up, and hypercholesterolemia. It’s only worse for people already suffering from these conditions.
Now, berberine may not be a magic pill for PCOS. However, it can address insulin resistance and many other symptoms associated with this disease.
7. Improving Gut Health
The gut plays a critical role in the body’s overall immunity. Reduced gut immunity can lead to various health issues, including hormonal imbalance and inflammatory conditions.
A study published in 2020 found that berberine could treat diabetes, inflammatory issues, and certain cancers. Since these are some of the top gut diseases, researchers posited that increased berberine intake may improve gut performance.
Berberine’s ability to aid gut health is due to its positive effects on gut microbiome.
There’s more than enough reason to integrate berberine into your health and wellness routine. However, remember to go slow on the compound, as excess consumption could trigger nausea and gastrointestinal issues.