Berberine is definitely overrated?


Lately, berberine turns into an more and more standard complement. It’s introduced as a beautiful treatment, useful each for individuals with and with out glucose-insulin administration – “preventively”. As well as, a complete vary of different benefits of this substance are talked about.

Are such beliefs proper?

Berberine is a compound extracted from numerous crops utilized in conventional Chinese language drugs. It owes its recognition to the efficient reducing of blood glucose and enhancing different parameters associated to the danger of civilization ailments. Certainly, within the case of individuals with sort 2 diabetes, it appears to be relevant [1]. As a result of activation of AMPK, berberine is normoglycemic – because of this it lowers blood sugar solely when it’s elevated. Its use is comparable with oral hypoglycaemic brokers (eg metformin) – this means that berberine is without doubt one of the simpler dietary supplements that decrease blood glucose [1]. It’s value noting, nonetheless, that metformin and berberine could probably work together with one another and thus restrict the impact of metformin. Extra proof is required to research the medical results of this interplay [2].

There’s additionally hypothesis about different mechanisms by which this compound acts on glucose and insulin metabolism. It’s talked about, amongst others on the advance of insulin sensitivity and elevated glucose transporter GLUT1 [3,4]. The introduced relationships have been checked in interventional research and there are single works involving people, the place, for instance, an enchancment in insulin sensitivity was noticed [4-6]. The speculation that berberine acts independently of AMPK should endure additional verification.

Is berberine for everybody?

Within the experiments carried out thus far, the advance of carbohydrate metabolism involved individuals with sort 2 diabetes. Thus far, no research have been carried out wherein wholesome individuals could be concerned or different circumstances, similar to insulin resistance, could be concerned. In the meantime, in line with widespread beliefs, it’s insulin resistance that’s talked about as the principle indication for taking berberine. Within the mild of obtainable literature, such claims are hardly to be thought-about as information – they’re slightly speculative. Within the case of sufferers with regular glucose and insulin metabolism, consumption of berberine could also be probably harmful and result in hypoglycaemia. Its use appears notably ineffective for athletes decreasing fats deposits. The coaching itself is a superb AMPK activator. What’s extra, crucial elements affecting insulin sensitivity are bodily exercise and low physique fats. The addition of AMPK activator might also be unfavorable within the context of constructing muscle mass.

Bettering not solely the carbohydrate financial system …

One other good thing about utilizing berberine is the advance of the lipidogram. The principle mechanism of this impact is the activation of AMPK, which inhibits each the synthesis of ldl cholesterol and triglycerides [7]. Administering sufferers with hypercholesterolemia for Three months decreased serum ldl cholesterol by 29% and triglycerides by 35% [8]. It additionally appears to have a helpful impact on lipid parameters in diabetics, however the impact was not as spectacular [1].

Berberine can also be introduced as a neuroprotective, antidepressant, antineoplastic and antibacterial agent. Certainly, there are works displaying these actions [among others, 9-12]. Sadly, they have been all carried out in vitro or on rodents. It could be nice if this relationship had such a large spectrum of properties, however as of as we speak there isn’t any analysis involving individuals to contemplate such claims to be proper for us.


Regardless of the comparatively modest analysis amenities on the title substance, it has a reasonably optimistic prognosis primarily in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. It’s value noting, nonetheless, that hurraoptimism related to the operation of this relationship appears to be exaggerated, as a result of as we speak it’s not relevant in lots of instances. Analysis on berberine is proscribed to works on cell strains and animals, and solely single ones – involving people. Sadly, there’s a lack of onerous scientific proof to attract inhabitants conclusions and formulate basic suggestions. I don’t demonize the title substance, however earlier than the introduction of berberine for supplementation, you must suppose onerous and dose the dose individually.


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