Berberine has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. It’s effective against a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It can be used topically on cuts and other wounds, and it’s perhaps most commonly used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including traveler’s diarrhea and that from food poisoning.
This herb can be found in:
- Chinese goldthread (Coptis trifolia)
- barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
- Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
It’s also found in roots, rhizomes, and the stem bark of these plants.
However, new research is showing that it has similar effect in controlling blood sugar at the same does metaformin (glucophage).
On top of this it appears that it helps lower cholesterol as well.
Berberine’s main mechanism is partly responsible for its anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects. Berberine is able to activate an enzyme called Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) while inhibiting Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B).
Research shows that taking 1500mg of berberine (500mg 3 times a day) is as good as taking metformin (500mg 3 times a day)
Dr Mercola has a nice article on this
A research paper on the comparison between Metformin and Berberine can be found here.
A recent study conducted at the Shandong University of Technology in China found that “berberine helps prevent oxidation damage to biomolecules in the brain, inhibits enzymes which breakdown important memory molecules, reduces peptides that interfere with proper memory function, and lowers lipids that interfere with cerebral blood flow.” It’s interaction with brain and mental health show that berberine may also be able to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Other studies show that it also improves bone density and preserves cartilage, protects against acute brain damage, reduce inflammation, and may reduce cancer cell spreading. Berberine should definitely be at the top of your supplement list if you have diabetes, cardiovascular concerns, cancer, immune challenges, intestinal infections, or just want an amazing overall health supplement!
Where can you get Berberine?
Currently I’ve tried two brands.
Thorne Research Berberine-500 (quite expensive)
Leaner Living : Glycosolve