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5 Amazing Health Benefits of Berberine

5 Health Benefits of Berberine!

From exercising to drinking water and using nutritional products, there are many ways and steps to detox and cleanse your body. Cleansing your body of toxins not only helps eliminate them but also provides such benefits as increased energy, weight loss, and improved overall health.

There are many nutritional products that can easily help you jump-start a detox program. In a recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show, renowned detox expert Dr. Alejandro Junger explains that nurturing your digestive system and “cleaning the gut” is one of the most important things you can do for your health. By adding certain supplements and sticking to a precise diet, he adds that you can jump-start your gut and get your energy back for good.

One of the supplements that sparked particular interest was berberine. Berberine has long been used in traditional Ayurveda and Chinese medicine to treat many health concerns, including intestinal problems, bacterial infections, and inflammation. Berberine is present in many plants, including the European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric. It is found in roots, rhizomes, stems, and the bark.

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Dr. Junger’s detox cleanse explains that supplementing with berberine can help prevent energy drain and support digestive health. While this isn’t new to the natural health world, recent studies have shown that berberine can help support many functions and health concerns with our bodies. So what else can it do? Here are 5 more health benefits:

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Berberine

  1. Natural Antimicrobial –  Many studies have pointed out that berberine has significant antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, protozoans, helminths, and chlamydia. By inhibiting the ability of bacteria to attach to human cells, Berberine helps protect against many bacterial infections, particularly in the throat, intestines, and urinary tract. Berberine’s antimicrobial properties in the digestive system make it a unique supplement to use in a detox program as well.
  2. Support for Blood Glucose Levels & Type 2 Diabetes – A clinical trial published in Metabolism found that “berberine works just as well as the top-selling drug for type 2 diabetes, metformin (Glucophage).” The study conducted on individuals with Type 2 diabetes found that berberine significantly lowered blood glucose and hemoglobin levels. In the study, berberine was every bit as effective as metformin in regulating glucose metabolism. So wouldn’t you prefer a natural anti-diabetic supplement that is just as, if not more effective as an anti-diabetic pharmaceutical? Most of us would agree.
  3. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels– Staying on the berberine vs diabetes drugs subject, berberine has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, something most (if not all) diabetes drugs cannot do. The study, published in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that berberine lowered triglycerides by 35.9 percent, LDL cholesterol by 21 percent, and total cholesterol by 18 percent! Besides lowering cholesterol, the study also found that berberine lowered blood pressure and increased weight loss.
  4. Supports Cardiovascular Health- According to, “preliminary research suggests that berberine, in addition to a standard prescription drug regimen for chronic congestive heart failure (CHF), may improve quality of life and heart function, and improve mortality.” A study reported in the Cardiovascular Drug Review also “indicated the cardiovascular effects of Berberine may make it useful in the treatment of arrhythmias and/or heart failure.” Besides heart failure, berberine can certainly reduce the risk of heart disease, especially since it can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and even promote hormonal balance to help with PCOS.
  5. Supports Mental and Brain Health-  A recent study conducted at the Shandong University of Technology in China found that “berberine helps prevent oxidation damage to biomolecules in the brain, inhibits enzymes which breakdown important memory molecules, reduces peptides that interfere with proper memory function, and lowers lipids that interfere with cerebral blood flow.” It’s interaction with brain and mental health show that berberine may also be able to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

Other studies show that berberine improves bone density and preserves cartilage, protects against acute brain damage, reduce inflammation, and may reduce cancer cell spreading. Berberine should definitely be at the top of your supplement list if you have diabetes, cardiovascular concerns, cancer, immune challenges, intestinal infections, or just want an amazing overall health supplement!

If you’ve used berberine we’d like to hear about it, and so would others! Share your results below.

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60 Responses to 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Berberine

  1. Paul July 25, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    It looks like berberine is something really great for weight loss. Is there any nutritional supplements containing Berberine? Thanks!

    • Ashley Steinbrinck July 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Yes, Paul it does help some people! Try this link for some supplements with Berberine. They are sold at Natural Healthy Concepts + free shipping on all. Thanks!

    • David August 27, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      Yes Paul it is great for weight loss and lots of other things but Berberine is not without side effects and dangers which are well known in many articles on the internet you can find with little effort, so don’t be fooled by a article that that has a link to a brand selling Berberine, that’s plays down the fact it inhibits CYP2D6 and CYP3AL which are responsible for the metabolism of toxins and carcinogens in the liver.

      • Original G May 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

        Thats why its recommended to supplement it with PQQ and Glutathione for detoxing

  2. Melissa Palmer September 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Thank you for this. I was actually on the Dr. Oz show with Dr. Junger as one of his success stories. I suffered needlessly for years with rheumatoid arthritis only to discover multiple food allergies and leaky gut after undertaking Dr. Junger’s CleanGut protocol. Today, I am completely pain and medicine-free and feeling better than I have ever felt in all my adult years. I was searching for some background info on berberine to send to another person interested in doing the CleanGut protocol so they can understand the science behind why they need to take it. Your article hits the spot!

    • Theresa Groskopp, CN September 6, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      That’s great Melissa ~ so glad to hear you finally got somewhere. Rheumatoid arthritis is such a debilitating disease. Best of health to you!

    • MaryJane November 28, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      How much Berberine did you take in a day

  3. Vicki Johnson September 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I would like to take Berberine for high LDL and triclycerides but am concerned because I do not have diabetes. Would taking Berberine decrease my sugar levels and cause a problem? If I am currently taking Priolosec for acid reflux and lysinopril for high bp, how will this herb effect those medications?

    Berberine sounds great if you do not want to take a statin! and sounds even better as a weight loss possibility. Please respond! Thanks

    • Elizabeth December 3, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Why don’t you not take a statin at all? Guess what? Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, they only studied males who already had heart problems and you need your cholesterol, esp. your brain.

      Read this book which will give you more details:

      I knew some of what was in this book but it went further with more details that are just astonishing. It will tell you what better to do for your heart health.

      and no, of course not. Berberine does many things but that doesn’t mean it would negatively affect normal levels. It’s part of my antifungal formula I take daily and it’s great.

    • Joyce Mossman March 25, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      This sounds like me…On prilosec and have high LDL’s. Did anyone respond to you?

      • Eva June 9, 2016 at 9:28 am #

        How much do you take daily and is it still working out for you after 2 years?

  4. lauren jonczak March 7, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I have never heard of berberine before but it sounds great, are there any side effects when taking berberine? I have been doing some research on treating heart disease ever since my aunt died from it last month and they say staying fit and eating right is a great prevention. I am not the healthiest person but having my aunt die was a huge wake up call for me. I need to be more conscience of my body. I am going to have to look more into berberine, thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Joni Walker April 8, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    I’ve recently been taking a Berberine Complex (Integrative Therapeutics) as an anti-fungal (RX’d by my ND), I have shed about 5-10 pounds and suffered with chronic tension headaches over the past 10+ years or so and are now gone. I’ve been an aspirin/caffeine user for years – eat really clean (Paleo – no dairy/soy/sugar) and even when I’ve done major detoxes, I’ve still had the headaches. I am on day 5 of no headaches, which is super unusual. My ND can only tell me is that it was probably the Berberine – I sure hope it stays this way, feel so much better and happy to have lost some extra pounds too. Hope that helps any of you ….. btw, I do not have diabetes and I’ve not had any side effects either.

    • Ashley Steinbrinck April 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      That’s such great news, Joni! Thank you for sharing your success with Berberine. Just an FYI for the future – during a detox, it’s very common to have headaches as a symptom as your body eliminates all the toxins! Keep us updated!

    • Eva June 9, 2016 at 9:30 am #

      I’m very curious to know how you been for the past 2 years using berberine?
      How are your headaches and your weight?
      I hope to hear from you

  6. Lucy May 19, 2014 at 7:28 am #


    I’ve been reading about Berberine as I’m I have PCOS and i know reserach has shown it works like Metformin to control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss. However, I have also come across information that states Berberine does not have a very long history and doctors dont yet know the long term effects of it.

    Please see:

    I am so stressed and confused as I don’t want to cause more harm than good!

    • Sunny April 25, 2016 at 10:00 am #

      This is not specific to ur comment but, I had to lsugh— I have a 92 year old friend who has taken bereberine in the form of yellow root tea (xanthorhiza simplicissima) daily for the past 60 years. She’s one of the most HEALTHY people I know!!!

  7. Louise June 4, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Would you recommend berberine for non diabetics who are on a LCHF diet trying to control heart disease and eventually eliminate statins?

    Also, for a basically healthy person to come closer to ketosis?

    • Theresa Groskopp, CN June 4, 2014 at 8:26 am #

      Hi Louise – While we can’t make recommendations, I can tell you that there is clinical research to support the use of berberine for heart disease and metabolic syndrome – as the references linked to in this article and in the article on Are There Side Effects of Berberine . It sounds like you might be on the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) Diet not only for heart & cholesterol support, but also to prevent diabetes. Berberine use is supported for both conditions – at least in the research I have done. Good Luck!

      • Louise June 4, 2014 at 9:19 am #

        In the research I’ve done there’s an indication it may contribute to muscle loss. And, suggests vigorous
        exercise. We walk a lot, but that’s it and I’m sure we are not going to change that. We are both in our sixties and don’t need to loose anymore muscle! What’s your take on this?

        • Theresa Groskopp, CN June 4, 2014 at 10:15 am #

          Louise – research does indicate that. I talked about this in the post Are There Side Effects of Berberine. My take is that you will build muscle in your legs if you walk regularly. You will naturally lose muscle mass in areas that you don’t use on a regular basis, with or without taking berberine. I wish it weren’t so!

          • Mark November 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

            I actually read that muscle loss (atrophy) only occurred when the Berberine was injected, but if consumed by mouth Berberine actually reversed muscle atrophy.

          • Theresa Groskopp, CN November 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

            That’s good to know Mark! Do you happen to recall the source where you read it? We could update the article to include it. Thanks.

  8. Debbie Verilhac June 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi, I was just reading about Berberine and have a few questions, I am diabetic and I take metformin and am on insulin and Victoza as well. I also take Prevastatin and Lisinopril, not because I have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, (I was told I am taking these 2 for ‘maintenance’ for my diabetes) Taking Berberine will I be able to replace these once I start taking the Berberine and can I find this in any store? I am trying to lose weight also but am having a hard time as the weight is more from ‘stress’ than anything else. Thank you for your response!!!

    • Theresa Groskopp, CN June 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi Debbie,
      You can buy berberine supplements at Natural Healthy Concepts with free shipping in the U.S.

      As far as replacing your medications, it is possible you may be able to reduce or eliminate some of your meds, however you should always consult with your healthcare practitioner before stopping. There are few side effects using this natural supplement but you can read what those are in this article about the side effects of berberine. Good luck!!

    • Denise March 23, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

      Staton drugs raise blood sugar levels. They are just tey I ng to create more problems for you with all those meds

  9. Susie June 24, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    Gosh, I have been taking “Thorne” Berberine 500 2 capsules with each meal. Sadly, it gave me horrible acid reflux and did nothing for my blood sugar, if anything, it caused it to go higher.

    Any ideas as to why this happened?

  10. Ant July 4, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I have used Berberine for years, and it is truly as amazing as everyone says.

    I am a Canadian, but I have lived in China for over a decade. The first 5 years more uncomfortable than not due to a persistent stomach bug which would come and go, regardless of prescription medications or diet. Then I came across Berberine, unbelievably cheap (100mgX100 pills = .80 cents) and very commonly used here as a diarrhea medication. (AKA The Backpackers Best Friend in Thailand). Not only does it fix the diarrhea effectively, without residual constipation like prescription stuff, but it very effectively kills and removes the bacteria which is so tough to remove by conventional methods. Once I found out about the other amazing side effects, it isnt a hard sell to spend .80 cents every couple of weeks…..

    • Patty December 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

      I am also a Canadian – who has struggled with an amazingly similar past as you …except that I am still struggling! Do you still take the Berberine (ongoing?). And do you buy your Berberine from China now? If not, from where, and what dosage?
      Thank you.

  11. Shirley July 22, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Can I buy berberine in s Africa?
    What are side effects

  12. DEBRA GRENIER August 24, 2014 at 9:00 am #


  13. Jason October 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    I’ve been taking berberine for a few months for overall health and I have noticed a reduction in sickness, less inflammation from my sebborahic dermatitis. I think this medication will ‘help what ails you” I have nothing negative to report.

  14. Kelly February 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Oh my goodness this is such GREAT stuff!! LDL lowered in one month by 260 points and total Cholesterol by 320 points!!!! Only took this and milk thistle and started walking twice a week! Made a BELIEVER of ME!!! Thanks so much for sharing this info!

  15. ALIREZA April 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    HI I started to use that long time ago so it is very useful .One of the best Genus specie is Persian barberry.

  16. GoodStew April 23, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    I’ve been taking Berberine for several years to regulate my blood sugar, my weight, my gut and my basic well being. (btw, I am not diabetic)
    Re dosage: I take 4-6 caps a day. You can spread them out or take 2 in the am, 1 during the day and 2 before bed. I suggest you experiment w the dosage and your symptoms. If I don’t eat properly, (as in occasional junk food) I’ll take extra.

    And that is my honest experience with this product. 🙂

  17. daniel dorseyd April 24, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    take alpha lipoic acid for the nerve pain it works

  18. Deborah Mac Donald May 16, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    I have been taking berberine complex by Swanson for nearly a month now and I don’t have any blood sugar reports to show but I have an overall good feeling(no dizziness or headaches or digestive upset) My doctor diagnosed me with diabete2 but never gave me any idea what to do about it.She just said eat a balanced diet.I decided to research on line and chose what I feel is the thing I need to fight back the high blood sugar ,high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.I chose berberine complex with ceylon cinnamon, fenugreek, gymnema sylvestre leaf. I also take PGX to help prevent sugar spikes and aid in insulin resistance. I don’t have any one in the medical field to advise me so I am doing this on my own and taking the risks..I’m not saying others should do the same.This formula I am taking is not doctor approved but I really don’t want to go into statins and diabetic pills and insulin needles. It is my life and this is the path I choose.

    • Shirley Brittenum June 23, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Good job, Deborah. I am a natural health supplements distributor and agree with you. My doctor talks constantly about the problem and prescribes metformin. There is no encouragement to eat foods that can help with the issue. Nor does the medical community tell a person about natural supplements. I choose to be well by taking natural supplements that will help me, not harm me.

    • Skylar Thompson November 18, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

      I have been doing something similar as well. I was also diagnosed about a month ago with diabetes 2 and the doctor didn’t say what to do about it either. I did see a nutritionist and she told
      me what to eat for a balanced diet. It’s actually easier than I thought it would be. Anyway, I started
      using Berberine as well as Alpha-Lipoic Acid as well as magnesium and a multiple vit. I have lost 10 lbs and feel so much better. Although I will be getting my next blood test in January, so I guess
      this is when I’ll know if any of this is helping. One thing is I have noticed I haven’t gotten a single cold. But I attribute that to Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Because whenever I take it regularly I don’t catch
      colds or flu and I’m a teacher. Sometimes I do feel like I might be coming down with something but it ends up clearing up by the next day.Oh and one more thing I find I have more energy.

    • Marty Doe June 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

      There is no doctor who is going to back any non fda approved supplements. Nothing I have ever mentioned to any of my doctors received a favorable remark. All I ever hear is NO, do not take that. Well we all know if something like this worked Big Pharma would shut down and we just couldn’t have that can we ? ! Like you, I have decided to try something else for my life.

  19. Eric June 15, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Here is a good article on beberberine,studies show there is muscle atrophy when injected, but when taken orally it actually improves atrophy .Its at Science Direct :Effects and mechanisms of berberine.

  20. Jane B. June 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    Has anyone used berberine in treatment for chronic lyme syndrome?

  21. Amin July 21, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    I have started taking Berberine about 4 weeks ago, I am off my daily fast acting Insulin regimen, no meds, only on a slow acting insulin called Lantus. from what I have read, give yourself a good 2 to 3 months, I am also taking with Berberine pills Gymnema Sylvestra pills.

  22. L.P. August 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    I can NOT stress this enough…if you are a diabetic…do NOT start with 500 mg..or you risk the chance of your sugar going too low…..speaking fom experience!!! 200-300 mg a couple of times a day should be good….

  23. Emily Moore November 22, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi, I’m after any info on berberine for cancer and how it works for cancer.

    • Mildred January 21, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Emily: I have no info on Berbeine for you. However, suggest you read up on Maitake Mushroons and check into hyperbaric oxygen theray.

  24. Natasha February 27, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    Hi, I’ve been reading up on the effects and side effects of Berberine. My ongoing issue has been the re-occurance of bacteria vaginosis (bv). After only being able to temporarily relieving it with antibiotics from the doctor, I have done some research and interactive Therapeutics Berberine Complex supplements would be a part of a remedy along prebiotic and most importantly boosting my immune system .. I believe that I have to control bad bacteria and assist the good bacteria in thriving. Has anyone ever taken Berberine for the same reason I would like to? And if so has it assisted you in your goal of balancing kith bad and good bacteria in both the intestine and the vaginal?

    • Karl August 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

      Natasha February 27, 2016

      A friend used to have to consult a doctor to clear up her urethratitis. After reading about the effectiveness of cranberry, she started drinking cranberry juice and/or eating the dried fruit. It has been some 10 years since she last consulted her doctor for her condition.

      I have suffered from what some have described at IBS, irritable bowel syndrome for decades, yes decades. It is commonly said that yogurt would improve the condition, but the various brands of sweetened yogurt usually sold in the supermarket did not help. When I found a shop nearby selling an unsweetened preparation and added to it Yakult (probiotic) drink, I took a couple of spoonfuls of this yogurt plus 50 ml of Yakult regularly, within a month to 6 weeks, I no longer am inconvenience of having to go as often as 3 times. Only once a day – occasionally twice/day.

      The humble and cheap yog did wonders where the fancy labels failed. Cranberry replaced the more expensive antibiotics. Hope you can benefit from simple food which is medicine to many who believe in the more humble folk of traditional herbal medicine.

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  26. Mary April 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    Cardiologist recommended taking Thorne Berberine 500MG for high cholesterol. He insisted on this brand. Found it on Amazon. I started taking once a day but rarely twice as I would forget. I re-took my blood test in two weeks and my total cholesterol went from 210 to 160. I have a friend who is a heart patient and has been taking for a year and lost 20 pounds over the year without even trying. Amazing stuff!

    • judi July 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

      Hi Can you tell me more about the cardiologist who recommended taking Thorne Berberine?
      I would like to drop blood pressure med (I only take 1/2 a 2.5mg of an ACE blocker)
      but would rather take Thorne Berberine

      • Leslie Benson August 13, 2018 at 1:53 pm #

        Hi Judi!

        Great question! You can reach our Certified Nutritionist for a phone consultation at 866-505-7501 or 920-968-2350. However, it may also be helpful to consult your health care provider first.

        Thank you, and best wishes on your health journey!

  27. Karl August 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    I have just started taking a herb known by its Chinese name “huang lian” which refers berberine. It comes i root form. I use about 2 inches of the rhizome (root), soaking it in water overnight and blenderise it with a mixture of raw and cooked veges.

    If huang lian does for me only 1% what several articles I found on the internet say it is capable of, then surely huang lian (or berberine) would surely qualify as a wonder supplement.

    After a couple of weeks taking berberine in its natural form (huang lian) I hope I will be able to report on any improvement on my health concerns – cardio, prostate and simply fatique.

  28. Pierre Henri January 20, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Hello ! I am taking since a long time the beta blocker bisoprolol (Zebeta), 5mg/day, for episodes of tachycardia that I sometimes have. I have no heart disease, tachycardia was due to panic attacks and automatic nervous system problems. I am 61 now, and starts to have some belly and pre diabetes type 2.So I started to take berberine since a few weeks. It seems to work well but I saw in some literature hat berberine inhibit CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. My beta blocker bisoprolol is only slightly metabolized by CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 and it’s main metabolization path is PGP. My concern is that I don’t find anything about berberine and PGP. If berberine would be an inductive to PGP and therefore minimize concentration of the beta blocker in my blood, I wouldn’t care much. But if berberine would have an inhibiting role of the PGP, I would mind if the beta blocker concentration in the blood would start to increase. The best would be berberine having no action in the PGP metabolism. Most doctors know nothing about this, so how or where can I check ? Thank you 🙂

  29. Rhena Kinslow January 3, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    Should I take my berberine supplement on an empty stomach, before or after a meal?

    • Leslie Benson January 4, 2018 at 10:06 am #

      It depends. Usually as a dietary supplement, adults should take berberine with a meal or a glass of water, or as directed by your healthcare professional. However, be sure to first read the nutritional label for specific instructions for the product you are using.

    • Leslie Benson January 19, 2018 at 9:46 am #

      It depends on the specific supplement you are using. Always follow the instructions on the product label.


  1. Lower Blood Pressure and Promote Fat Loss with Berberine - The Alternative Daily - March 28, 2016

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