Berberine Extract

Berberine Extract (Berberis aristata) root extract (97% Berberine HCl) – 200 mg

What is Berberine Extract root extract? 

Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be extracted from several plants, including a group of shrubs called Berberis, which is from the alkaloid family. Berberine is yellow in color and has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been used to treat various ailments.

What does it help with in the body? 

Berberine is very well studied, and hundreds of studies exist. 

One of the main actions of berberine is to activate an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), according to some animal studies. AMPK plays a key role in regulating metabolism and energy levels and is found in cells throughout your body. 

Berberine also affects other molecules inside cells and may even affect which genes are turned on or off.

Some research suggests that it may help promote weight loss, enhance blood sugar regulation, and protect against depression, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and several other chronic conditions.

What have the studies shown?

Berberine is known to lower blood sugar levels, and many studies have shown that berberine can significantly lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It seems to work via multiple mechanisms and may help:

  • decrease insulin resistance, making the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin more effective
  • increase glycolysis, helping your body break down sugars inside cells
  • decrease sugar production in your liver
  • slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in your gut
  • increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut

In a 2008 study of 116 people with diabetes, taking 1 gram of berberine per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20%. 

It also lowered hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar regulation, by 12% and improved levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides. According to an older review of 14 studies, berberine may be as effective as certain oral diabetes drugs, including metformin, glipizide, and rosiglitazone. 

It works very well in combination with lifestyle changes and has additive effects when used with other blood sugar-lowering drugs.

Berberine also has the ability to help you lose weight, and also appears to inhibit the growth of fat cells at the molecular level, which could help promote weight loss. 

 In one older 12-week study in people with obesity, taking 500 mg of berberine three times per day caused about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average. The participants also lost 3.6% of their body fat. 

Additionally, a review of 12 studies found that supplementing with berberine led to significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, and belly fat. It also decreased levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. 

Berberine lowers cholesterol and may reduce your risk of heart disease. With heart disease as the leading cause of death around the globe, that may be a smart idea. Many factors that can be measured in your blood are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. As it turns out, berberine has been shown to improve many of these factors. According to a review of 16 studies, it could help:

  • decrease total cholesterol
  • decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • decrease blood triglycerides
  • increase HDL (good) cholesterol

It has also been shown to lower apolipoprotein B by 13–15% in some older studies, which is an important risk factor for heart disease. According to some research, berberine works by inhibiting an enzyme called PCSK9. This leads to more LDL cholesterol being removed from your bloodstream.

In addition to all of the benefits already mentioned, berberine may have numerous other health benefits:

  • Depression: Animal studies suggest that it may help reduce symptoms of depression
  • Cancer: Test-tube and animal studies suggest that it can reduce the growth and spread of various types of cancer
  • Oxidative stress and inflammation: It has been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in some test-tube and animal studies
  • Infections: Test-tube studies suggest that it can reduce the growth of harmful microorganisms, including certain types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Fatty liver: It may reduce fat buildup in the liver, which could theoretically help protect against NAFLD
  • Heart failure: One older study showed that it improved symptoms and reduced the risk of death in people with heart failure

What are some contraindications?

Berberine can interact with some medications, but specifically do not take it with cyclosporine.

If you have a medical condition or are taking any medications, speak with a healthcare professional before taking berberine. This is especially important if you are currently taking blood sugar-lowering medication.  In one study, taking berberine and metformin together led to a 25% drop in the impact of metformin.

Overall, berberine has an outstanding safety profile. The main side effects are related to digestion, and there are some reports of diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.


For more information about Berberine: 

Compare to: Biotics Research – Berberine HCl ($64)