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Berberine: an antioxidant that activates the Vitamin D Receptor - many studies

Brief summary of this page by CHAT-GPT - Oct 17, 2023

Origins & Uses:

  • Berberine is a plant alkaloid used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for managing health conditions.
  • Found in various plants like barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric.
  • Traditionally used as an antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, and antidiarrheal agent.
  • Noted for its ability to reduce blood sugar, potentially comparable to some anti-diabetic drugs.
  • Used in treating markers of glycemic control, blood lipids, liver function, and metabolic disorders among others.

Drawbacks & Side Effects:

  • Long-term safety research on berberine is lacking.
  • Reported side effects for doses above 300 mg/day include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, and stomach pain.
  • Risk of hypoglycemia when taken in high doses due to its blood sugar-reducing capability.
  • Potential for drug interactions due to its inhibition of drug metabolism enzymes.

Research Studies:

  • Various studies have been conducted on berberine related to Type 2 Diabetes, Dyslipidemia, PCOS, Metabolic Health, High Cholesterol, NAFLD, Cardiovascular Health, and Metabolic Syndrome.

ConsumerLab Overview:

  • Berberine is found in goldenseal root and is typically sold as berberine HCl capsules or tablets.
  • Efficacy observed in reducing blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients and in improving cholesterol levels.
  • Dubbed "Nature's Ozempic," alluding to the diabetes drug semaglutide, though berberine's effects aren't as significant or evidence-backed.

Scientific Studies & Insights:

  1. Berberine Enhances Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Function: Study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine showed that berberine could promote Vitamin D Receptor Activity, benefiting rats with IBS-D.
  2. Gut Microbiota and Berberine: Due to its low bioavailability, berberine interacts with gut microbiota, altering its pharmacological effects. It's vital to understand these interactions to decipher berberine's mechanisms.
  3. Berberine in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Berberine has shown potential to treat NAFLD due to its multiple beneficial effects on metabolic pathways.
  4. Biological Properties and Clinical Applications: Berberine has diverse pharmacological properties and can treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular ailments, and neurological disorders.
  5. Berberine as an Antidiabetic Compound: Apart from its antidiabetic activities, berberine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can indirectly benefit conditions like diabetes mellitus.

In essence, berberine, a plant alkaloid, has been traditionally used in Eastern medicine and has shown potential benefits in various health conditions, especially in regulating blood sugar. While its therapeutic effects are promising, there's a need for more extensive research to ascertain its long-term safety and understand its mechanisms better.

Berberine: extensive review by Examine.com

"Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of use in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for the management of various health conditions. Its seemingly potent ability to reduce blood sugar rivals that of some anti-diabetic drugs." Oct 2023

  • "Berberine is an alkaloid found in the barks, leaves, twigs, rhizomes, roots, and/or stems of various plants, such as barberry, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. Traditionally, berberine has been used as an antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, and antidiarrheal agent in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Most research in humans has examined berberine’s effects on markers of glycemic control, blood lipids, markers of liver function, and anthropometric parameters in people with metabolic disorders."

What are Berberine’s main drawbacks?
"Although berberine appears to be generally safe, more long-term safety research is needed. Supplementation with berberine (especially in doses above 300 mg/day) has been reported to cause gastrointestinal side effects in some people, including diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, and stomach pain.10 Due to its ability to reduce blood sugar, berberine may increase the risk for hypoglycemia in high doses. Additionally, berberine inhibits several enzymes involved in drug metabolism, so there’s a risk of serious drug interactions when taken alongside other medications or supplements."

Berberine Study details

Type 2 Diabetes 5 Studies, Dyslipidemia 4 studies, PCOS 3 Studies, Metabolic Health 3 Studies, High Cholesterol 2 Studies, NAFLD 2 Studies, General Cardiovascular Health 2 Studies, Metabolic Syndrome 2 Studies. etc

Is This Supplement Nature's Fountain of Youth? - Dr. Osborne's Zone - May 2024

YouTube 47 minutes had not watched it
This week on Dr. Osborne's Zone, join me as I take a deep dive into Berberine! Berberine is a natural compound found in certain plants that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Scientists have been studying berberine extensively in recent years and have found that it has many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.

Berberine can also help with conditions like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and infections, as well as improve metabolic parameters, reduce cholesterol, and increase testosterone levels. It has also been shown to extend the lifespan of mice and improve their overall health.

Berberine and Goldenseal Supplements Review - ConsumerLab Oct 2023

What is berberine?
Berberine is a yellow-colored compound found In goldenseal root. As a supplement, it is typically sold in the form of berberine HCI (which is 90% berberine) in capsules or tablets containing hundreds of milligrams. Goldenseal root powder or extract supplements generally provide less than 30 mg of berberine per serving

What do berberine and goldenseal do?
Berberine appears to be somewhat effective in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and improvements in cholesterol levels and even body composition have been noted. Higher quality studies are needed to confirm these effects of berberine.

Due to its reported effects, berberine has been called "Nature's Ozempic," referring to the type 2 diabetes drug semaglutide that mimics the action of a peptide that increases insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar levels and aiding in weight loss. However, the effects of semaglutide are much greater and better supported by evidence than those of berberine. Berberine has not been shown to cause weight loss.
Excellent reviews of supplements at ConsumerLab

Many products found to have little or no Berberine - Dec 2023

NOW Foods, tested lesser known brands purchased on Amazon.com and Walmart.com and found that 32 out of 33 products contained less berberine than listed on the label.

  • 6 products contained no detectable berberine
    • (Earth Bare, Greabby Gummies, GreenPeople Formula, Satooml, Vltamlscence, and Wellness Labs Rx),
  • 1 product from KoNefancy contained just 1 %.
  • 11 products contained only 3% to 39% of the berberine expected from their labels:
    • aSquared, BMVINVOL Formula, Deal Supplement, Genex Formulas, HIvoNutra Formula, Nutriflair, Nutrivein, One Planet Nutrition, Research Labs, Sotalix, and Thomas Remedies. Naomi Whittel, Simply Natures Pure, Tonliq, Vitalité
  • 2 products contained between 80% to 90% of their claimed amounts
    • Now, and Wholesome Story
  • 3 products contained, respectively, 95%, 97%, and 104% of their claimed amounts.

Berberine enhances Mucosal Barrier Function and VDR (in rats) - April 2023

Berberine Enhances Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Function by Promoting Vitamin D Receptor Activity
Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine (2023)
Yong-quan Huang, Jia-lin Liu, Geng-xin Chen, Dan-ting Shen, Wang Zhu, Xin-lin Chen, Feng-bin Liu & Qiu-ke Hou

To evaluate if berberine can act on vitamin D receptors (VDR) and thereby regulate the expression of tight junction proteins (TJPs) in irritable bowel syndrame-diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D) rats.

The newborn rats were induced into IBS-D rat model via neonatal maternal separation combined with acetic acid chemical stimulation. After modeling, the model was evaluated and rats were divided into the control group and berberine treatment groups (0.85, 1.7 and 3.4 mg/kg, once a day for 2 weeks). The distal colon was obtained and colonic epithelial cells (CECs) were isolated and cultured after IBS-D model evaluation. The vitamin D receptor response element (VDRE) reporter gene was determined in the CECs of IBS-D rats to analyze the effect of berberine on the VDRE promoter. VDR overexpression or silencing technology was used to analyze whether VDR plays a role in promoting intestinal barrier repair, and to determine which region of VDR plays a role in berberine-regulated intestinal TJPs.

The IBS-D rat model was successfully constructed and the symptoms were improved by berberine in a dose-dependent manner (P<0.05). The activity of VDRE promoter was also effectively promoted by berberine (P<0.05). Berberine increased the expression of TJPs in IBS-D CECs (P<0.05). VDR expression was significantly increased after transfection of different domains of VDR when compared to normal control and basic plasmid groups (all P<0.05). RT-qPCR and Western blot results showed that compared with the blank group, expressions of occludin and zonula occludens-1 were significantly higher in VDR containing groups (all P<0.05). Berberine plus pCMV-Myc-VDR-N group exerted the highest expression levels of occludin and zonula occludens-1 (P<0.05).

Berberine enhances intestinal mucosal barrier function of IBS-D rats by promoting VDR activity, and the main site of action is the N-terminal region of VDR.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki


 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Gut microbiota and berberine - Aug 2022

Interactions between gut microbiota and berberine, a necessary procedure to understand the mechanisms of berberine
Hao Cheng 1, Juan Liu 1, Yuzhu Tan, Wuwen Feng, Cheng Peng

Berberine (BBR), an isoquinoline alkaloid, has been found in many plants, such as Coptis chinensis Franch and Phellodendron chinense Schneid. Although BBR has a wide spectrum of pharmacological effects, its oral bioavailability is extremely low. In recent years, gut microbiota has emerged as a cynosure to understand the mechanisms of action of herbal compounds. Numerous studies have demonstrated that due to its low bioavailability, BBR can interact with the gut microbiota, thereby exhibiting altered pharmacological effects. However, no systematic and comprehensive review has summarized these interactions and their corresponding influences on pharmacological effects. Here, we describe the direct interactive relationships between BBR and gut microbiota, including regulation of gut microbiota composition and metabolism by BBR and metabolization of BBR by gut microbiota. In addition, the complex interactions between gut microbiota and BBR as well as the side effects and personalized use of BBR are discussed. Furthermore, we provide our viewpoint on future research directions regarding BBR and gut microbiota. This review not only helps to explain the mechanisms underlying BBR activity but also provides support for the rational use of BBR in clinical practice.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Berberine Reduces Inflammation in Adipose Tissue, etc. - Jan 2019

Berberine, a Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reduces Inflammation in Adipose Tissue
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Berberine in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease—A Review - Aug 2022

Nutrients 2022, 14(17), 3459; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14173459
by Anna Koperska 1,2,*ORCID,Agnieszka Wesołek 1,2,Małgorzata Moszak 1ORCID andMonika Szulińska 1ORCID

  • 1 Department of Treatment of Obesity, Metabolic Disorders and Clinical Dietetics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Szamarzewskiego 82/84, 60-569 Poznan, Poland
  • 2 Doctoral School, Poznan University od Medical Sciences, Fredry St. 10, 61-701 Poznan, Poland

The incidence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) has been rapidly increasing during the last decade. It is a relevant health problem that affects 25% of the general population. NAFLD involves an extensive array of clinical conditions. So far, no approved pharmacological therapy for NAFLD has been developed. Multiple bioactive compounds have been proposed to treat NAFLD. One of the most promising is Berberine (BBR). Its pleiotropic effect positively impacts various cardiometabolic aspects. In this review, we summarize NAFLD, its metabolic and cardiovascular complications, the hepatoprotective effects of BBR due to its broad spectrum of pharmacological effects, and the potential role of BBR in NAFLD therapy. BBR ameliorates NAFLD by affecting numerous abnormalities. It inhibits lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis, improves insulin resistance and lipid profile, and modulates gut microbiota. The exact mechanism underlying these effects is not yet entirely explained. A growing amount of evidence confirming the positive effects of BBR on multiple metabolic pathways, such as lipids and glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis, or gut microbiota modulation, allows us to speculate about the importance of this natural bioactive substance for NAFLD therapy.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Biological properties and clinical applications of berberine - April 2020

Frontiers of Medicine volume 14, pages564–582 (2020)
Danyang Song, Jianyu Hao & Daiming Fan

Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis and other Berberis plants, has a wide range of pharmacological properties. Berberine can be used to treat many diseases, such as

  • cancer and
  • digestive,
  • metabolic,
  • cardiovascular, and
  • neurological diseases.

Berberine has protective capacities in digestive diseases. It can inhibit toxins and bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, protect the intestinal epithelial barrier from injury, and ameliorate liver injury. Berberine also inhibits the proliferation of various types of cancer cells and impedes invasion and metastasis.
Recent evidence has confirmed that berberine improves the efficacy and safety of chemoradiotherapies. In addition, berberine regulates glycometabolism and lipid metabolism, improves energy expenditure, reduces body weight, and alleviates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Berberine also improves cardiovascular hemodynamics, suppresses ischemic arrhythmias, attenuates the development of atherosclerosis, and reduces hypertension. Berberine shows potent neuroprotective effects, including antioxidative, antiapoptotic, and anti-ischemic. Furthermore, berberine exerts protective effects against other diseases. The mechanisms of its functions have been extensively explored, but much remains to be clarified. This article summarizes the main pharmacological actions of berberine and its mechanisms in cancer and digestive, metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Berberine and Its Study as an Antidiabetic Compound - July 2023

Biology 2023, 12(7), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12070973
by Ayudiah Rizki Utami,Iman Permana Maksum * andYusi Deawati ORCID
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Sumedang 45363, Indonesia

Simple Summary
Glucose is needed as the main source of energy in the body. However, too high sugar levels can lead to a variety of serious complications, including with the cardiovascular system, eyesight, and kidney function. The condition in which blood sugar levels are high is called hyperglycemia. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that causes hyperglycemia and is a disease that has been known to cause many deaths. Therefore, many treatments and preventive measures have been taken to fight diabetes mellitus. There are several oral diabetic drugs used, such as metformin, sulfonylureas, rosiglitazone, and others. However, some of these drugs have high risks or have contraindications with certain groups.
Here, we discussed the mechanism of the natural compound berberine as an antidiabetic compound. In addition, we also found that berberine can work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, where the state of inflammation and oxidative stress itself has an influence on the condition of diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder that causes hyperglycemia conditions and leads to various chronic complications that causes death. The prevalence of diabetes is predicted to continue to increase, and with the high toxicity levels of current diabetes drugs, the exploration of natural compounds as alternative diabetes treatment has been widely carried out, one of which is berberine. Berberine and several other alkaloid compounds, including some of its derivatives, have shown many bioactivities, such as neuraminidase and hepatoprotective activity. Berberine also exhibits antidiabetic activity. As an antidiabetic compound, berberine is known to reduce blood glucose levels, increase insulin secretion, and weaken glucose tolerance and insulin resistance by activating the AMPK pathway. Apart from being an antidiabetic compound, berberine also exhibits various other activities such as being anti-adipogenic, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Many studies have been conducted on berberine, but its exact mechanism still needs to be clarified and requires further investigation. This review will discuss berberine and its mechanism as a natural compound with various activities, mainly as an antidiabetic.
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

VitaminDWiki – Vitamin D Receptor is associated in over 58 autoimmune studies

VitaminDWiki - Vitamin D Receptor activation can be increased in 16 ways

Resveratrol,  Omega-3,  MagnesiumZinc,   Quercetin,   non-daily Vit D,  Curcumin,   Berberine,  intense exercise, Butyrate   Sulforaphane   Ginger,   Essential oils, etc  Note: The founder of VitaminDWiki uses 10 of the 16 known VDR activators

CHAT-GPT comparison of Butyrate and Berberine - Oct 2023

Butyrate and berberine are two distinct compounds with different properties and potential health benefits. Let's compare them in terms of their sources, functions, and potential health effects:
1. Source:

  • Butyrate: Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that is produced by the fermentation of dietary fiber in the colon by gut bacteria. It is a natural byproduct of the digestion of certain foods, especially those high in fiber.
  • Berberine: Berberine is an alkaloid compound found in various plants, including the roots, rhizomes, and bark of plants like berberis, goldenseal, and Oregon grape.

2. Functions and Health Benefits:

  • Gut Health: Butyrate is primarily known for its role in supporting gut health. It serves as a primary energy source for the cells lining the colon and helps maintain a healthy intestinal barrier.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Butyrate has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the gut, which is associated with various gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Metabolic Effects: Some studies suggest that butyrate may have metabolic benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity and potentially aiding in weight management.


  • Blood Sugar Control: Berberine has been studied extensively for its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. It may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose production in the liver, making it useful for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Cholesterol Reduction: Berberine has shown potential in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health.
  • Antimicrobial: Berberine has antimicrobial properties and may help combat various infections, including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Like butyrate, berberine also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for conditions involving chronic inflammation.

3. Usage:

  • Butyrate:Butyrate is typically not taken as a supplement but is produced naturally in the colon through the fermentation of dietary fiber. However, some supplements are designed to deliver butyrate directly to the colon for therapeutic purposes.
  • Berberine: Berberine is available in supplement form and is commonly used to support blood sugar control, lower cholesterol levels, and address certain gastrointestinal issues. It is available over the counter and should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

4. Side Effects:

  • Butyrate: Butyrate produced through natural fermentation in the gut is generally well-tolerated. However, there is limited information on the safety and potential side effects of supplemental forms.
  • Berberine: Berberine can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, cramping, and constipation in some individuals. It may also interact with certain medications, so it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before using berberine supplements.

In summary,
butyrate and berberine are different compounds with distinct functions and sources. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid produced in the colon during the fermentation of dietary fiber and primarily supports gut health, while berberine is an alkaloid found in various plants and is used for blood sugar control, cholesterol reduction, and antimicrobial purposes. Both have potential health benefits but are used for different purposes and may have different side effects and considerations. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or treatment.

What To Know About Berberine: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Cleveland Clinic includes
Berberine has a short half-life of several hours — half the dose will be metabolized and eliminated from your system within a few hours. To keep blood levels stable and benefit from berberine, spread the daily dosage (up to 1.5 grams or 1,500 milligrams daily) throughout the day. Dr. Bradley recommends taking it three times a day before meals.

Your Top Berberine Questions Answered - June 2023

Health Directions includes

  • Berberine is a natural alkaloid found in the roots, bark, and stems of hundreds of plants that have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
  • How Fast Does Berberine Work? Many of the studies that demonstrated berberine’s ability to lower blood sugar—as effectively as metformin and other diabetes drugs—lasted 90 days, so I would expect results within three months.

Berberine - lists the diseases fought - Feb 2023

Berberine - Another supplement with an amazing healing profile Dr. Malone substack
Blood Pressure
Blood sugar control (insulin regulation):
Heart Disease

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
20242 VDR Rats_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 160.69 Kb 68
20241 Anti-biabetic_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 401.51 Kb 69
20240 Biological properties_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 396.82 Kb 89
20239 Berberine in NAFLD_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 228.97 Kb 66
20238 medscimonit-25-87_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 634.36 Kb 62
20237 gut microbiota_CompressPdf.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 385.88 Kb 63
20236 Berberine 2022.pdf admin 17 Oct, 2023 220.30 Kb 61