Benefits and Side Effects of Berberine Powder, Capsule, and Supplements

Benefits and Side Effects of Berberine Powder, Capsule, and Supplements
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Berberine – Its Benefits and Side Effects: Berberine, earlier used to dye wood, leather, and wool due to its yellow color, now is used as a medicine. Who knew this small alkaloid compound would be full of many surprises. If you haven’t found the properties and benefits of Berberine yet, it’s time you took a look at these. As of the modern age, Berberine is still in active use for dyeing wool and threads in India. But do you know that Berberine benefits your health too? Let us look deeper at the applications, risks, and advantages of Berberine.

The alkaloid Berberine is a common constituent of many plants, namely tree turmeric, barberry (Berberis Vulgaris), Oregon Grape (Mahonia Aquifolium), goldenseal, yellowroot, Chinese goldthread, and others. The Forms you can intake Berberine are Goldenseal Tea, Oregon Grape, and Berberine capsules.

The uses of Berberine as medicine dates back to ancient times in China when people used it as an oral medicine against gastrointestinal infections. Recent studies have shown that this compound is also effective against inflammation, heart failure, and diabetes. What are the advantages and side effects of Berberine? Since you must be familiar with this concept, here are some facts and up-to-date information to help you figure out.

What are the Advantages of Berberine?

Out of many interpretations and research-based studies, results emerged in favor of the use of berberine for different diseases, including cancer, bacterial infections, and diabetes. The Berberine and chemical compounds can be taken in the form of medication. Here are some supportive facts highlights the health benefits of berberine.

1. Advantages of Berberine for Diabetes Patients

Berberine exhibits improvement in Glycemic and lipid parameters if used over a long period. It is clinically proven that long-term use of berberine benefits improvises insulin secretion for patients who suffer consequent failures of hypoglycemic agents. Taking 500 mg of berberine twice or thrice slightly reduces the blood sugar levels by controlling your blood glucose levels same as Rosiglitazone or Metformin.

2. Berberine Inhibits Cancer and Tumor formation

According to a Journal published on BMC Cancer, a series of studies and experiments conducted from 2000 to 2008 resulted in supportive shreds of evidence that Berberine exerts anti-tumor effects in a variety of tumors namely, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer also, prohibiting the formation of tumor reducing the number of carcinogens in the body.

Theories and proofs form a concrete base why you should use berberine capsules or power or other Berberine-based medicines to reduce the size of a tumor to a significant extent.

3. Berberine Treats NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)

NAFLD has become a common disease of the 21st Century which is a metabolic stress-induced liver injury closely related to insulin resistance and genetic susceptibility. If not treated timely, patients are at risk of liver failure. Latest researches revealed that Berberine Hydrochloride is an effective drug to cure NAFLD and enhances liver functions alongside increasing body immunity.

4. Berberine Protects from Bacterial Infections

Turmeric is an antimicrobial and antifungal agent to combat bacterial infections. Turmeric Rhizome contains berberine that inhibits the growth of Streptococcus agalactiae, which causes several health issues like sepsis, skin problems, meningitis, pneumonia, etc. The drug based on Berberine alkaloids was found to effective in the cessation of growth of pathogenic bacteria without harming or damaging the host cells. Berberine also contains antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Berberine Reduces High Cholesterol

High level of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and Triglycerides lead to escalates the risks of heart diseases and eventually a stroke. Berberine mitigates the risks by reducing the High Cholesterol levels and increasing the high-density Lipoprotein to better your heart’s health. Berberine allows the excess of cholesterol to move to the liver and further processing and removal, eventually, balancing the Triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Berberine also has no side effects on your health as compared to other medicines that combat high cholesterol.

What are Risks and Side Effects of Berberine?

A direct intake of Berberine is considered safe for adults but can cause some complications for infants, mothers during pregnancy and lactation. In some cases, diabetic people with lower blood glucose levels, need not take berberine or its supplements as it may reduce the levels can cause dangers.

1. Health Risks of Berberine on Infants

Berberine can mount the level of bilirubin (chemical produced when old blood cells break down) in kids’ blood. This increased level can turn their skin yellow, worsening jaundice, and eventually, lead to Kernicterus (a rare type of brain damage). Therefore, berberine is unsafe for infants, whether fed directly or indirectly.

The same effects can show up if you consume berberine during pregnancy, as the alkaloid can travel through the placenta and affects the fetus adversely.

Special care must be taken during breastfeeding because berberine is also transferred through the mother’s milk and harm the baby.

Early symptoms to detect the side effects of berberine on infants is the discoloration of the skin (skin turns yellow).

2. Side Effects of Berberine for Diabetes

If you are already taking Metformin for diabetes, do not consider taking Berberine. Berberis Vulgaris can affect your blood-sugar level adversely and may also counter the effects of Metformin.

3. Side Effect of Berberine on Blood Pressure

People with low blood pressure need to stop a long-term use of berberine because prolonged use of this compound or drugs based on Berberis Vulgaris can further decrease your blood pressure.

Other reported Side Effects of Berberine use are:
  • Hypertension
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Paresthesias
  • Respiratory failure
  • Headache
  • Bradycardia

General FAQ

What is a natural source of berberine?

Berberine alkaloid is a chemical found in several plants namely European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, Phellodendron, and tree turmeric and can be obtained from Rhizome, stem, and bark of these plants. All these are the natural source of Berberis Vulgaris.

What are the side effects of berberine?

Side effects of Berberine include Hypertension, Vomiting, Nausea, Paresthesias, Respiratory failure, Headache, and Bradycardia. The significant disadvantages of berberine can result during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or Low blood pressure. Long-term or short-term use of berberine can cause drastic harms.

Is berberine safe to take long term?

Provided you don't have any chronic medical condition; you can continue taking berberine or berberine-based supplements for a long period. If the symptoms mentioned above start showing up, you need to cease consuming berberine and consult your health specialist right away.

Is berberine good for the liver?

Yes, Medical researches have proved that berberine can improve liver health and blood lipids in patients with NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) also balancing the blood sugar level. Studies have also shown that Berberine could be a permanent cure for NAFLD patients.


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