Having a wide range of application in the field of medicine, Berberine is rapidly rising as among the most effective components of every health supplement formula. There are over 2000 studies on Berberine which has been published in various clinical magazines and publications in the recent decades. There are, however, limited findings formulated as to how the compound exactly works in the human body due to difficulties in obtaining subjects. The compound Berberine can be isolated from various plant sources including goldenseal, Oregon grape and European barberry. Although it is mostly taken in the form of capsules and tablets as a health supplement, some other manufacturers develop topical formulations for Berberine as it is shown to help cure wounds and burns.
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a unique compound classified as a yellowish alkaloid. It can be taken from various herbal sources, making it advisable for use with its high quantity of yield. Clinical studies on Berberine conducted in the modern days are primarily focused on its anti-diabetic properties. Scientists say that the compound may help prevent and may even cure Diabetes by activating AMPK or adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. AMPK is an essential hormone which plays a very important role in the activation of metabolism and the switching of energy sources into body cells. An adequate AMPK production leads to similar effects as that of having sufficient exercises, healthy diet and weight loss. As a vital health ingredient, Berberine is also being compared to many anti-diabetic medications such as Metformin.
What are the health benefits of using Berberine?
While it is mostly known as a Diabetes-controlling agent, Berberine may also provide other important health benefits to adult individual users. These health uses include the following:
- It may control bacterial growth
Applied topically, experts say that Berberine has certain effects in effectively reducing microbial growth in the surface of the skin. Following such observation, many researches were piloted to establish the potential effects of Berberine as an effective antibiotic agent. It was found to work against certain strains of microorganisms but not yet proven to work against resistant strains. Berberine is included in health supplement formulations to effectively control microbial growth.
- It synergizes effects of antidepressants
Berberine does not work as an antidepressant but in various clinical studies, it was found to synergize effects of various antidepressant medications. This means that it strengthens the effects of antidepressants, thereby making it more efficient for use. It was, however, found that the compound may have serious drug interaction problems with other medications.
- It improves digestive function
The compound Berberine is also claimed to improve digestive function by helping in the regulation of a healthy digestive bacterial environment. The claim has been confirmed in several quantitative clinical studies.
Berberine is indeed becoming more popular as a potential health supplement ingredient but it must be taken with caution by individuals who are undergoing medical treatments or those taking certain medications as it may cause drug interactions.