Berberine has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance in several studies. It has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce fasting glucose levels and improve glycemic control. It has also been reported to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Berberine has been found to reduce the production of glucose in the liver, inhibit the absorption of glucose from the intestine and stimulate the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, two processes associated with insulin resistance. Additionally, berberine has been linked to improvements in lipid profiles and reductions in body weight, both of which can improve insulin resistance.
What is berberine?
Berberine is an alkaloid compound found in several plants including goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. It is available as an herbal supplement and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
What are the health benefits of berberine?
- Antioxidant activity: Berberine has been found to act as a powerful antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and protecting cells from oxidative damage.
- Cardiovascular health: Berberine has been found to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. It may also reduce inflammation, which is linked to heart disease.
- Blood sugar control: Berberine has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance, and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Weight loss: Berberine has been found to reduce body weight, waist circumference, and body fat in people with obesity.
- Cancer prevention: Berberine has been found to reduce the growth of cancer cells in laboratory studies.
- Gastrointestinal health: Berberine has been found to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Brain health: Berberine may improve memory and reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
How to take berberine?
- Start with the recommended dose on the supplement label.
- Take berberine with food. This helps to reduce the risk of digestive side effects.
- Divide the dose up over the course of the day. This can help to increase absorption and reduce the risk of side effects. For instance, 500 mg twice a day.
- Take berberine with other supplements or medications. This can help to reduce the risk of drug interactions.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels closely if you are taking berberine for diabetes.
- Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects while taking berberine.
Who should avoid berberine?
Berberine should be avoided by people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, are taking medications for diabetes such as metformin, or have an immune system disorder. It should also be avoided by people who are taking medications that interact with berberine, such as antibiotics, antidiarrheal drugs, or antifungal drugs. People with low blood pressure, liver disease, or kidney disease should also avoid berberine.
Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.
Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.