Berberine Benefits
Better Nutrition|May 2020
Found in goldenseal and other plants, berberine has a long history of use as a natural antibiotic and anti-fungal treatment—and newer research shows that it may also help with healthy aging, blood sugar balance, and more
By Karta Purkh Singhi Khalsa, DN-C, RH

Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of medicinal use in Western, Ayurvedic, and Chinese herbal traditions. It can be found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), goldthread or coptis (Coptis chinensis), Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense), and tree turmeric (Berberis aristata).

While it has long been used to treat bacterial diarrhea, intestinal parasite infections, and eye infections, berberine has become a hot research topic over the past few years, with more than 5,600 scientific studies published in the scientific literature highlighting its ability to lower blood sugar, promote weight loss, and improve heart health.

One of the foremost actions of berberine is to activate an enzyme inside cells called activated protein kinase (AMP or AMPK), which is sometimes referred to as a “metabolic master switch.” AMP is found in the cells of the heart, brain, muscle, kidney, and liver, and it plays a key role in regulating metabolism. It may also affect how genes function.

Blood Sugar Benefits

Diabetes, blood fats, hypertension, and obesity are a deadly combo that plagues our society. And berberine helps all of them. In fact, many studies show that berberine dramatically reduces blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, with an effectiveness comparable to the popular diabetes drug metformin.

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