The Complete Berberine Guide 2023: What Is Berberine, 5 Benefits, Side Effects & Dosages

Berberine has been a component of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and has recently gained popularity in the western world. This plant extract hasn’t received this influx in demand as a result of Chinese whispers but rather the acknowledgement of new scientific findings supporting its suggested benefits, especially in relation to fat loss. Consequently, German Pharma have now released their very own potently dosed Berberine supplement. This article will provide a complete guide to Berberine combined with an FAQ section.

Table Of Contents

What is Berberine?

Berberine is a nitrogenous organic plant extract compound that has physiological effects in humans, qualifying it as a type of alkaloid. Berberine is most commonly sourced from a group of shrubs called Berberis. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine as a way of treating multiple ailments. Modern-day scientific research suggests that berberine may induce a broad array of health benefits, due to how it interacts with your body on the molecular level.

How does Berberine work?

Berberine has its effects once it has been ingested, travelled into your bloodstream and taken into targeted muscle cells. From here it has been shown to bind to multiple parts of the cell and alter their function. The most sought-after effect it has is that it activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (1). AMPK is an enzyme that plays a critical role in regulating your metabolism. Additionally, Berberine can play a part in gene regulation, affecting the development of major tissues, such as muscle (2). The practical applications and benefits of these molecular changes are now going to be discussed.

Berberine Benefits

This article will now discuss Berberine’s health benefits and provide the evidence that has been put forward by the scientific literature to support these claims. 

Weight Loss Benefits

It’s likely you have clicked on this blog article to find out if Berberine can actually support and accelerate weight loss. After some investigation of the scientific literature, it appears that Berberine's weight loss abilities are very promising.

Research shows that berberine prevents fat accumulation. One particular study shows that by supplementing 500mg of Berberine for 12 weeks, body weight is decreased by 5 lbs when compared to a control group. The Berberine group also lost 3.6% of their body fat in this trial (3). 

Another study found berberine supplementation at 300mg, 3 times per day, for 3 months to significantly reduce body mass index (31.5 to 27.4 on average), with a noticeable reduction in body fat (4). Scientists have investigated how berberine has this effect on fat on a molecular level and found various ways in which it inhibits the growth of fat cells (5, 6).

Therefore, alongside a calorie deficit and sustainable exercise regime, Berberine can accelerate weight loss with a focus on fat burning.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Berberine has been shown to assist in blood glucose regulation. This has been demonstrated in research demonstrating berberine supplementation to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in those with Type 2 Diabetes (7). 

The effectiveness of this supplement to lower blood sugar is comparable to that of Metformin, a commonly prescribed medication (8). Berberine has this benefit as it increases insulin sensitivity and the breakdown of sugar in cells, whilst slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut (9).

By having control over your blood sugar levels and reducing spikes, you are more likely to have greater control over your appetite and food cravings, and experience fewer dips in energy and concentration.

Lowers cholesterol

Berberines effects on Cholesterol have been studied and the results are very promising;

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomised controlled trials, also known as the gold standard of research due to its validity and reliability, found berberine to lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL “good” cholesterol (10). This is the perfect effect if you want healthy blood lipid levels. 

Berberine has this effect by inhibiting an enzyme called PCSK9, which leads to the greater removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood (11). As cholesterol ratios and levels are related to the development of heart disease, berberine can reduce your risk of attaining this condition.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory

There is scientific evidence to show that berberine has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (12). Antioxidants are great for general health as they reduce damage to cells, and ultimately fight against chronic disease. 

Antioxidants are also very beneficial for active individuals and athletes, as intense exercise creates free radicals that cause cell damage. The anti-inflammatory effects of berberine can reduce pain and swelling, speeding up the recovery process and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.

Fights Against Depression, Cancer & Heart Failure

Due to how Berberine affects the body on a molecular level, research has shown it to have multiple benefits in relation to preventing and managing chronic diseases, and other serious health complications.

Berberine has been shown to fight against depression (13), reduce the growth of various forms of cancer (14) and reduce the risk of death in those with heart failure as it essentially helps strengthen the heartbeat (15). 

Therefore, research suggests that Berberine may have the ability to improve your health, and is ideal for anyone wanting to improve their overall well-being.

Berberine Dosage Recommendations

Studies have shown doses of Berberine 500mg per day to be effective, partially in regards to fat loss. Therefore doses of 500mg are advised. German Pharma Berberine provides 500mg of Berberine per cap, and advises 3 caps daily (1500mg) to unleash Berberine's benefits.

Frequently asked questions for Berberine 

What are the Berberine side effects?

Side effects are not generally experienced at recommended dosages, however upset stomachs have been reported at doses over 1.5 grams. 

Can you overdose on Berberine?

Berberine is generally very safe for most adults. It’s been used safely with doses upto 1.5 grams per day for 6 months.

Can I take Berberine when pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is strongly advised to not take Berberine when pregnant or breastfeeding. This extract can cross the placenta and cause harm to the fetus. Berberine has been reported to cause brain damage in infants.

Can Berberine help me lose weight? 

Yes, it can. Research has shown Berberine to prevent fat accumulation and help its users reduce their overall weight and body fat percentage.

Can Berberine be taken on an empty stomach?

To avoid any digestive discomfort, it is recommended to consume Berberine after eating.

How long can you take Berberine?

We recommend taking Berberine for 12 weeks. Studies show that any cycle length upto 6 months is safe.

Where can I find Berberine UK?

German Pharma have their very own Berberine supplement, which is potently dosed and at a competitive price. Like the best Berberine supplements, it provides 500mg per cap. German Pharma recommends 3 caps per day to deliver 1500mg.

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