Is it Real or Another Placebo?
Berberine. Most of us haven’t heard of it, but it’s a highly effective chemical found in a variety of plants. It’s classed as an alkaloid, which is a naturally occurring substance (from a plant or other organic matter) that contains at least one atom of nitrogen. Many alkaloids have a bitter taste. Berberine comes from plants like:
- Tree turmeric
- Oregon grape
It is extracted from those plants and others and is then used to help treat and mitigate a variety of medical conditions. Yet, we hear about so many “miracle cures”. Is berberine just another of them?
Uses of Berberine
In short, no. Berberine is very diverse. It has a long history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine. Current studies confirm its usefulness is treating:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol (lipids)
- High blood pressure
These conditions are related to heart disease, so there is some indication that berberine can act as a protective agent for the heart, too.
Other uses of berberine may include:
- Use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement
- Use as an antiviral
- Use as an antibacterial agent
- Weight loss
- Can be used to treat canker sores
- Has anti-aging benefits
- Beneficial for some chronic illnesses
Berberine has also shown some effectiveness in treating depression in clinical studies performed on mice.
Benefits of Berberine
Berberine has a battery of clinical efficacy tests behind it. It has been shown to be as effective as metformin in treating diabetes. It has also been shown as effective as many pharmacological agents, or mainstream, traditional medications prescribed by practitioners of western medicine.
A significant benefit is that berberine doesn’t have many of the side effects that some other medications do. In one study, no serious side effects of berberine were reported.
Berberine is available in several different forms, including capsules and gels. Capsules will be taken and processed through the digestive system and topicals can be used for things like canker sores.
Side Effects of Berberine
Lest it sound like a miracle cure-all, berberine can have some side effects. While it is safe overall, some people experience:
- Stomach upset or pain
- Stomach cramping
- Extreme low blood sugar when taken with another diabetes medication
While most of these side effects are unpleasant or a nuisance, very low blood sugar can be dangerous, so it’s important to tell your medical practitioner about diabetes and other medications you’re already on.
Berberine has not been deemed safe for pregnant women, infants, or children. It’s best to work with your medical practitioner to determine the best treatment plan for a pregnant you and your littles.
How Can I Safely Add Berberine to My Health Regimen?
For those in the Parker, CO area, APEX Hormone Health can help. We also have telehealth appointments available in both Colorado and New Mexico. We are highly skilled medical practitioners who offer customized treatment plans that consider your health goals and lifestyle.
Call or Text: 720-856-0200 to schedule a comprehensive medical work-up. We can help you add berberine or a wide variety of other supplements or hormones to your treatment plan. We look forward to supporting you on your journey back to wellness.
Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.