Berberine is a compound that has been extracted from a class of shrubs called Berberis. These shrubs include Oregon grape, goldenseal, and European barberry. It has been used throughout history in traditional Chinese medicine but the Western world has only recently confirmed its benefits for several health ailments.
Berberine is one of very few supplements whose benefits are as effective as a drug. Even more so, the benefits of berberine positively affect numerous body systems and is useful for protection against a myriad of chronic disease. This quality gives berberine a far more reaching effect than the effect of pharmaceutical drugs. Let’s briefly review some of these qualities.
The Health Benefits Of Berberine
Maintains Blood Sugar Levels:
Even for those within the normal range, berberine helps moderate glucose levels. It slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, thus reducing the release of glucose by the liver. Furthermore, berberine promotes insulin sensitivity to glucose and enhances the ability of glucose to be taken in by body cells. In fact, taking a berberine supplement at the same time as a glucose lowering medication can cause dangerously low levels of glucose in the blood. Berberine’s effectiveness is comparable to Metformin, a popular drug for diabetes.
Promotes Weight Loss:
Berberine inhibits the growth of adipocytes (fat cells), as well as activates a compound that jumpstarts metabolism. Increased metabolism leads to the calories being burned as energy rather than stored as fat. Studies have demonstrated the significant weight loss experienced by obese subjects taking berberine for three months.
Maintains Heart Health:
Berberine works by increasing blood flow, thus improving and normalizing blood pressure. It has also been shown to lower elevated total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as raise HDL cholesterol. These effects, along with the aforementioned reduction in body weight and blood sugar, help reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease.
Maintains Gut Health And Microbial Balance:
Damaged mucus membranes which line our intestines can be a precipitating factor in the development of intestinal problems. Berberine protects mucus membranes against damage, thus promoting gut health. Furthermore, berberine helps to minimize the growth of harmful gut bacteria while increasing healthy bacterial strains. Having a balanced microbiome boosts our immune system, protects against chronic inflammation, prevents digestive symptoms and associated digestive disorders, and many other functions.
Boosts Cognition And Memory:
Studies have shown that berberine can help improve memory, learning, and overall cognition. Furthermore, berberine may also increase our levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are critical to a healthy brain and in supporting a positive mood.
Berberine has a solid safety profile and many people stand to benefit from its myriad of health boosting effects. Talk with our team at Healthy Connections to see if you can benefit from taking Berberine!