Best Berberine Supplements

Best Berberine Supplements

Best Berberine Supplements

Berberine is a compound with medicinal properties and is naturally found within various shrubs. Numerous scientific studies have proven its effectiveness in the management and treatment of diabetes and it is often compared to common antidiabetic medications, such as metformin, with respect to its effectiveness in lowering blood sugar. Additional studies have shown that berberine also improves blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, and improves heart function.

In this article, we’ll review what berberine is and highlight the 4 best berberine supplements available. We’ll also reveal the major health benefits of taking berberine along with possible side effects and drug interactions.

TL; DR: What You Need to Know About Berberine

  • Berberine activates an enzyme called AMPK which blocks anabolic processes and pushes glucose inside the cells.
  • Berberine is as effective in lowering blood sugar as antidiabetic medications, such as Metformin and Rosiglitazone.
  • Berberine is also effective in improving blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.
  • Berberine may cause indigestion, impede muscle hypertrophy, and interact with certain medications

 

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Comparison of the 4 Best Berberine Supplements

Best for Blood Sugar Support
1MD
1
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best for Blood Sugar Support
1MD

This product contains 7 potent, clinically studied ingredients that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and aid the management of glucose uptake.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine Bark Extract
$1.83/Serving
Best for Liver Health
Essential Elements
2
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best for Liver Health
Essential Elements

This product contains 7 powerful ingredients that work together to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and aid glucose metabolism.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine Bark Extract
$1.33/Serving
Best Powder Form of Berberine HCl
Bulk Supplements
3
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best Powder Form of Berberine HCl
Bulk Supplements

Berberine HCl is an alkaloid found in plants that helps maintain healthy glucose levels, supports liver health, and aids digestion.

Powder Form
1/4tsp Twice Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine HCl
$0.12/Serving
Best Capsule Form of Berberine HCl
Nuzena
4
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best Capsule Form of Berberine HCl
Nuzena

Berberine HCl is one of the most effective natural supplements available for lowering blood sugar, supporting weight loss, and improving heart health.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Veggie Capsules
Berberine HCl
$1.33/Serving

 

What Is Berberine?

Berberine is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in various plants and shrubs, such as Indian Barberry. Historically, berberine has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to help manage gastrointestinal issues, whereas more recently it has been used for treating conditions like metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that berberine plays a major role in lowering blood sugar, reducing cholesterol, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. [1]

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How Does Berberine Work?

The effects of berberine rival some of the most widely prescribed medications for diabetes, such as Metformin (Glucophage). [2] This is not surprising, considering that both Metformin and berberine activate the enzyme Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK).

AMPK is found in the liver, brain, kidney, and muscle cells and its main role is to conserve the energy of cells as well as increase it. Once AMPK is activated, it blocks all anabolic processes inside of the cell since they consume energy. [3] This includes the synthesis of cholesterol, which is why berberine is effective in improving LDL.

Furthermore, AMPK draws glucose from the blood and transports it to inside the cell to provide it with more energy, even in the absence of insulin. Due to this, berberine is highly effective in lowering blood sugar, even if the cells are highly resistant to insulin.

Berberine also blocks the enzyme Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) which may help with improving insulin sensitivity. [4]

Benefits of Berberine

Berberine For Diabetes

Numerous studies have shown that berberine provides health benefits for those who have type 2 diabetes. A meta-analysis of 14 randomized trials that involved 1068 participants demonstrated the effectiveness of berberine in managing blood sugar and reducing cholesterol. [5]

Another meta-analysis of 27 randomized included with 2569 patients compared berberine’s effectiveness to popular prescription drugs and concluded that berberine lowers blood sugar, lipids, and blood pressure just as effectively as most prescription drugs.

Furthermore, berberine may reduce insulin resistance, which is the main underlying cause of type 2 diabetes occurrence. [7] One small study reported that berberine reduced HOMA-IR (index for insulin resistance) by over 40%. [8]

Berberine For PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another condition that is often related to insulin resistance, thus, berberine has been investigated as a possible therapy for PCOS.

One meta-analysis of randomized trials from 2018 found that berberine may be a promising treatment for PCOS when it’s accompanied by insulin resistance. [9] Another meta-analysis from 2019 revealed that berberine is even more effective than metformin in improving insulin resistance in patients with PCOS. [10] However, there was no improvement in the chance of pregnancy or live birth for the women who supplemented with berberine.

Berberine For Cardiovascular Health

In addition to reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, berberine also has the potential to enhance the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body and may provide benefits for patients with congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy. [11]

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Berberine Dosage

Studies that compared berberine to antidiabetic drugs noted that 1.0-1.5g of berberine displayed similar effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity when compared to using 1.5g of Metformin or 4mg of Rosiglitazone (standard antidiabetic drugs). [12]

Normally, berberine bioavailability is as low as 5%, however, substances such as silymarin, milk fat, and coconut oil may significantly improve the absorption of berberine and thus reduce the required dosage for effectiveness.

Berberine should be taken at least 3 times per day to increase its effectiveness and to lower the risk of side effects.

Berberine Side Effects

Overall, berberine has a low potential for toxicity and is very well tolerated by most people. However, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you take berberine with antidiabetic medications.

Some of the most common side effects associated with the use of berberine include gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating and constipation. This typically only occurs when large doses of berberine are taken all at once.

Additionally, berberine may not be suitable for people looking to build muscle. The activation of AMPK inhibits all anabolic processes in muscle cells, including protein synthesis, and berberine has been shown to induce muscle atrophy in animal studies due to AMPK activating a gene called atrogin-1. [13] However, it is unclear if the same effect can occur in humans.

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Berberine Drug Interactions

Berberine should not be taken with any of the following prescription drugs:

  • Cyclosporin A
  • Warfarin
  • Thiopental
  • Tolbutamide
  • Azithromycin
  • Clarithromycin and other macrolide antibiotics

Although rare, those who take berberine along with any of the above drugs may experience fatal heart problems in some cases. [14]

Take-Home Message

In conclusion, there is a solid amount of evidence to support the effectiveness of berberine in lowering blood sugar. Berberine is also effective in improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving cardiovascular function.

Best for Blood Sugar Support
1MD
1
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best for Blood Sugar Support
1MD

This product contains 7 potent, clinically studied ingredients that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and aid the management of glucose uptake.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine Bark Extract
$1.83/Serving
Best for Liver Health
Essential Elements
2
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best for Liver Health
Essential Elements

This product contains 7 powerful ingredients that work together to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and aid glucose metabolism.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine Bark Extract
$1.33/Serving
Best Powder Form of Berberine HCl
Bulk Supplements
3
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best Powder Form of Berberine HCl
Bulk Supplements

Berberine HCl is an alkaloid found in plants that helps maintain healthy glucose levels, supports liver health, and aids digestion.

Powder Form
1/4tsp Twice Daily
Vegan Friendly
Berberine HCl
$0.12/Serving
Best Capsule Form of Berberine HCl
Nuzena
4
Best Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine SupplementsBest Berberine Supplements
Best Capsule Form of Berberine HCl
Nuzena

Berberine HCl is one of the most effective natural supplements available for lowering blood sugar, supporting weight loss, and improving heart health.

Capsule Form
2 Capsules Daily
Veggie Capsules
Berberine HCl
$1.33/Serving

References

See all references
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18442638
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10409121/
[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20814956/
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23118793/
[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25498346/
[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23808999/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/
[9] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2018/2532935/
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6930782/
[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12860219/
[12] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19800084/
[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20522589/
[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25976224/

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