Helping Maintain Blood Sugar, Weight Management And Blood Lipids
Berberine is an alkaloid that is found in various plants‚ including barberry‚ golden thread, Oregon grape‚ and goldenseal. Its natural yellow color has been used as a dye for fabric.
Berberine has been used traditionally in China for blood sugar, immune function and weight control. Berberine has its documented beginnings in cultures as a dye‚ as its natural strong yellow coloring could be used on leather‚ wool‚ and wood.
Berberine has demonstrated many physiological benefits to the body, supporting the inflammatory response, blood sugar, cardiovascular health and supporting improved fat metabolism (Yang J et al, 2012).
Research showed that berberine has a positive effect on genes, which are involved in the manufacturing of fat in the body and promotes genes involved in calorie expenditure in fat tissue and muscle. One of berberine’s mechanism of actions is to increase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in particular fat cells and reduce the accumulation of fat in adipocytes (fat cells). By this mechanism, berberine positively effects blood sugar and weight management (Lee YS et al, 2006).
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been called the “metabolic master switch”
Berberine Supports Weight Management
A large number of preclinical studies have been confirmed in human studies that berberine can improve microflora in the gut and have a positive effect on gene regulation to help maintain cholesterol levels in the body (Ilyasa Z et al, 2020). It has also been suggested that berberine has a positive effect on weight management because it helps control particular hormones that regulate fat, including leptin, insulin and adiponectin (Ilyasa Z et al, 2020).
Leptin is a hormone that is manufactured by adipose (fat) cells within the small intestines. It helps to control the balance of energy by inhibiting hunger, which reduces fat from being stored in fat cells. Although, there is a condition called leptin resistance where a dysfunction of leptin occurs in overweight individuals and results in elevated leptin levels.
Adiponectin is a protein hormone, which helps control blood glucose and the breakdown of fatty acids.
Insulin is a hormone that is made and released from the pancreas. It helps to keep healthy blood sugar levels maintained.
Studies show berberine helps to reduce BMI and weight loss
A 3 month study was conducted with individuals who had weight and blood sugar problems (Huab Y et al, 2012). The study investigated berberine’s effect on lipid-lowering in human subjects and in animals.
Results: The administration of berberine in humans demonstrated to reduce body mass index (BMI) losing 3.6% body fat, a loss of an average of 5 pounds and reduction in leptin levels and leptin/adiponectin ratio. There was a significant 23% lowering of triglycerides and a 12.2% reduction in cholesterol levels. Animal research also showed a drop of 34.7% in triglycerides and a 9% lowering of cholesterol levels.
A 3 month human clinical study was performed with 37 individuals with weight control and blood sugar problems (Yang J, et al, 2012).
Results: The subjects body mass index (BMI) levels reduced from 31.5 to 27.4. This changed the subject’s BMI classification from obese to overweight.
In 2019, a study was performed in which berberine helped weight loss by promoting recruitment and activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) (Wu L et al, 2019).
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) helps to break down blood sugar and fat to make heat. It has an effect on metabolism and thermogenesis, helping to increase the burning of calories. Researchers believe that by increasing BAT mass and activity it will help with weight loss.
In summary, berberine, an alkaloid from particular plants has been shown to have multiple benefits to humans. There have been many clinical studies to show that it helps with weight management, blood sugar and lipids. It helps with weight management by helping control particular hormones; having a positive effect on genes and also brown adipose tissue.