Berberines are originally from China and India where they are used in traditional medicines. These are alkaloids – alkaloids are organic compounds that are of plant origin – and they are used to produce a very definitive improvement in several health problems. Researches and studies are still discovering the full potential of this alkaloid found in traditional herbs like tree turmeric, goldenseal etc. They are not too expensive and are well-known for their antibacterial properties. The common doubts that crop up in people’s mind are about its side-effects and how to take berberine.
Here, we are offering a brief review about this supplement and the various health benefits it offers. We will also have a look at the daily dosage recommendations for optimal results. The useful inputs from care2.com have helped us take a more comprehensive look at this topic. Let’s get started.
Berberine is now considered as a natural remedy for diabetes. It is established by studies that a daily intake of 1500 mg of berberine for three months showed a similar effect as taking metformin, a common diabetes drug. It not only lowers blood sugar level, but also helps in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes and complications arising from it like diabetic cardiovascular disease. It is also shown to improve glucose and other lipid metabolic disorders.
Studies have proven that berberine reduces serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A combined treatment of red yeast rice and berberine showed a marked reduction in the blood cholesterol level with little side-effects when compared to the statin therapy that is generally prescribed for high cholesterol treatment. Berberine reduces the high deposits of fats and lipids in the bloodstream.
Research is ongoing to find an effective cure for obesity and berberine has been identified as a compound that has the ability to activate an enzyme called AMPK (Adenosine Monophosphate- activated Protein Kinase) which is known as the “metabolic master switch”. This enzyme regulates metabolism by promoting the burning of fat in mitochondria.
A common dosage is 1500mg per day, taken three times a day (500mg each). A 900 mg dosage is also used for certain conditions. The half-life of berberine is only a couple of hours and hence it is preferable to spread your dosage to several times a day to achieve optimal results. If you are already on medication – especially blood sugar level lowering medicines – then it is advisable to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement as it can further lower your blood sugar level. People with low blood pressure should also exercise caution. It should be taken along with the meal or just after that, to take advantage of the spike in the blood sugar level that happens after having a meal.
High doses of berberine taken all at once can cause stomach ache, cramping, diarrhea, constipation etc. But, taking it in multiple doses throughout the day will considerably reduce these side-effects. We suggest that you take the help of a natural health care practitioner to understand the dosage that will give the best results for you.