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Berberine ~ Diverse Applications for Your Health

Berberine ~ Diverse Applications for Your Health

Becoming very popular here at Evergreen Nutrition and elsewhere in the natural products market is the supplement berberine. This substance has many diverse applications for health. It has been used in some form for ages in Traditional Chinese Medicine and now has been studied extensively in the West. We will look at this remarkable compound and its healing properties in this newsletter.

What Is It?

Berberine is an alkaloid chemical found in numerous plants, including goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry, and goldthread (coptis). Its yellow pigment gives goldenseal root its instantly recognizable identification. It is also very bitter, contributing to some of its beneficial effects. Berberine has a broad range of effects, from highly antimicrobial activity against some really nasty bugs, to anti-inflammatory properties, to anti-cancer activity. As well, it has been studied extensively for a role in alleviating metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Antimicrobial Activity

Antimicrobial Activity

Berberine has been shown to possess potent antimicrobial activity. It is anti-parasitic, amoebicidal, kills Giardia (notoriously difficult to eradicate), and is specific for parasitic infections. Its antibacterial activity may include Staphylococcus aureus, Escherica coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Berberine seems to have an affinity for the digestive tract.

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Blood Sugar Testing

Berberine supports healthy blood sugar levels through several mechanisms. It helps slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates and reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It also improves the body’s use of sugars by promoting normal insulin sensitivity and enhanced glucose uptake by cells for conversion to energy. In a three-month clinical study, berberine lowered the amount of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin from 8.1 percent to 7.3 percent, and lowered triglycerides, along with fasting and postprandial glucose levels. It also reduced fasting plasma insulin by 28 percent, and the insulin resistance index by 44 percent.

Weight Loss/Metabolic Disorder/Cholesterol

Weight Loss Scale

Berberine’s effectiveness at balancing blood sugar levels also lends itself to supporting other facets of metabolic health. It has been shown to be a vasodilator, opening up blood vessels and helping to reduce blood pressure. It has also shown to have a positive effect on weight loss through its activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), encouraging the body to burn calories rather than storing them as fat. In one study, obese subjects taking 500 mg of berberine 3 times a day for 12 weeks lost an average of 5 lbs. and also saw a significant decrease in their triglyceride and cholesterol levels.


Cancer Hope

Berberine has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. These properties may have an anti-cancer effect. Numerous Chinese studies have shown that berberine fights cancer via multiple mechanisms, including induction of autophagy and apoptosis (manners in which cancerous cells are destroyed). In addition, it stops angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels supplying cancers. Research and human trials have shown it to help stop the recurrence of some advanced cancers, including colorectal, breast, gastrointestinal, liver, and lung.

Evergreen Nutrition Can Help

Evergreen stocks several berberine products. From Natural Factors comes WellBetX Berberine, a vegan, gluten free capsule described by the company as playing an important role in glucose metabolism and cardiovascular health.  Enzymedica’s Berberine is sustainably sourced from barberry and is enteric-coated for improved absorption. It is vegan and gluten free as well. Thorne offers Berberine-500,  support for maintaining already healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promoting GI microbial balance, and supporting healthy metabolism.

Natural Factors WellBetX Berberine Enzymedica Berberine    Thorne Berberine