test-Health Benefits of Berberine
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Health Benefits of Berberine
Swanson staff • July 1, 2022

The Bountiful Benefits of Berberine!

When it comes to herbal support for better health and wellness, few nutritional supplements can compare with the many health benefits of berberine.

You may have heard about berberine recently, as this herb is certainly up and coming, but just because something is popular doesn’t always mean it can live up to the hype. However, more and more research is confirming the powerful health benefits that berberine offers.

Still, you may be asking yourself, what is berberine? What are the benefits of berberine? How should I take berberine?

To answer these questions and more, we’ve prepared this helpful guide so you can better understand what berberine is and all the ways it may be able to support your heart and digestive health while also promoting your weight management and cognitive support goals!

What is Berberine?

Before we get into all the health benefits of berberine, let’s take a moment to better understand what berberine is. Berberine is a plant chemical that can be found in species such as tree turmeric, Oregon grape and European barberry, to name a few.1

When this yellow-colored bioactive compound is removed from one of those shrubs (loosely referred to as belonging to the berberis family), berberine has many uses, from serving as a natural dye to offering a range of health benefits.2

First used by herbalists in ancient China,3 berberine has been around for a long time, but what exactly are the benefits of taking berberine?

What Are the Benefits of Berberine?

Berberine offers many health benefits to a variety of organs and systems throughout the body. This is potentially due to the way berberine interacts with enzymes and even certain genes.

For example, berberine has been shown to activate a powerful enzyme sometimes called the “metabolic master switch” which is found in the cells of the brain, heart and other major organs.2 By activating this enzyme, berberine is able to promote better and more efficient metabolism.

But the benefits don’t end there. In fact, berberine has been studied for its health benefits in a number of bodily functions from weight management to heart health. Berberine may even benefit gut health and more!

Let’s consider the benefits of berberine for specific applications:

Berberine for Weight Loss

Berberine has been studied for its positive effects on weight management. For those looking to maintain a healthy weight, berberine may help due to its influence on hormones like insulin and the overall formation of fat cells in the body.3

In particular, berberine has been shown in research studies to help block a protein used to form new fat cells in the body,8 further aiding the management of a healthy weight in adults.

Of course, taking berberine alone isn’t enough to maintain a healthy weight, but when used in conjunction with a sensible diet and healthy exercise routine, the results may surprise you!

Berberine for Heart Health

Berberine may also offer real and long-lasting benefits for your heart health. For example, taking berberine has been shown to support blood pressure readings already within the normal range, in addition to supporting a healthy blood glucose response.3

There is increasing research indicating that the heart health benefits of berberine may be more extensive than originally expected, having healthful impacts on a variety of cardiovascular markers.4

This is particularly true in the case of supporting blood lipid levels already within the normal range,5 as maintaining healthy cholesterol is a critical element to overall heart health as part of a healthy aging process.6

Berberine’s heart health benefits may also be linked to its healthful influence on gut health.

Berberine for Gut Health

Studies have shown that berberine can improve gut health by promoting certain healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This is important, as the types of microflorae positively impacted by berberine can have additional healthy influences on markers of heart health.7

Intestinal integrity has also been shown to benefit from berberine as its use is linked to promoting a more diverse microflora and helping balance the species of bacteria found within the gut.7

Along with aiding in the production of bile and bilirubin, used by the body to break down fats and aid in the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins,9 berberine has also been traditionally used to help the body to detox itself by promoting its natural system for cleansing.10

Berberine for Other Benefits

Related to its effects on gut health, berberine has also been shown in studies to benefit liver health. This occurs as berberine may help block harmful elements within the liver and may also provide long-term support against certain health concerns associated with the liver and its function.7

Berberine may offer additional benefits to your overall wellness by providing support for brain health. In fact, some studies have shown that berberine can have a healthy impact on the dopaminergic system of the brain.11

This system is involved in the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain which affect cognitive health and elements of mood such as motivation and a sense of reward.12

How Should I Take Berberine?

As with any health supplement, it’s always best to talk with a healthcare professional before adding to your established health routine. That said, many people from around the world use berberine each day to give their bodies the boost they need to operate at their best.

In general, you’ll want to consider the following guidelines to taking berberine:

  • Taking approximately 500 mg of berberine up to three times each day is a common practice13
  • It’s important to remember that berberine has a relatively short half-life period of effectiveness in the body, so it’s best to spread your doses out over the course of the day to maximize effect13
  • Berberine can most often be taken in the form of a swallowable pill.
  • Choose from formulas that include 400 mg of berberine in capsule form or veggie capsules with 550 mg of berberine in an advanced form which delivers easier digestion for a more potent effect
  • Combination formulas are also available which include added healthful ingredients like fenugreek, cinnamon and gymnema

Whichever formula you choose, it’s generally suggested that you take berberine with a meal and a glass of water to aid absorption.

Does Berberine Have Any Side Effects?

Berberine has been associated with reports of some gastrointestinal side effects but is generally considered safe for adults to take for up to six months.1

What Can Berberine Do For You?

Berberine has been used for thousands of years by people from all over the world to help support health and improve a wide variety of concerns. How can berberine benefit your health? In more ways than you may have previously thought!

Why not consider supplementing your healthy diet with berberine? You’ll be glad you did.

Always serving our customers,

Your friends at Swanson

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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2. Berberine Activates AMP-Activated Protein Kinase With Beneficial Metabolic Effects. American Diabetes Association. Read source

3. Berberine. Nourish by WebMD. Read source

4. Study Progress of Berberine. PubMed. Read source

5. Berberine and Heart Health. Chiropractic Economics. Read source

6. Cholesterol Guidelines and Heart Health. Cleveland Clinic. Read source

7. Effects of Berberine on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota. National Library of Medicine. Read source

8. Berberine. National Library of MedicineRead source

9. Everything You Want to Know About Bile Salts. HealthLine. Read source

10. 6 Potential Benefits of Berberine. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Read source 

11. Oral Berberine. Signal Transduction and Targeted TherapyRead source

12. Dopaminergic Pathways. The American Journal of PathologyRead source

13. Berberine. HealthLine. Read source