Berberine – Superstar Botanical

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Dr. Jonathan Wright describes berberine as a superstar botanical in his February 2013 issue of Nutrition and Healing. Berberine is an extract of a number of herbs such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry and gold thread.

Berberine may be beneficial for type 2 diabetes, it lowers hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugars for the past 2 to 3 months), fasting insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It improves insulin resistance, helps bone health, may improve brain health by lowering beta amyloid, a major factor in Alzheimer's dementia. It may also help repair peripheral nerve damage.

Most of the above are consequences of type 2 diabetes, and by lowering blood sugar, fasting insulin and improving insulin sensitivity, many of the consequences of diabetes can be affected. Berberine also has anti-obesity effects. It reduces the size of fat cells and cuts down on the number of fat cells as well.

Berberine may also be beneficial for breast cancer, skin cancer, melanoma, oral cancers, and prostate cancer. It is toxic to a number of cancer cells and prevents melanoma cells from spreading around the body. To quote Dr. Wright “Diabetic and insulin resistant men have a greater risk of prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetic and pre-diabetic women have a higher risk of breast cancer. Berberine is a safe, natural botanical that works equally well for both groups.” It is also useful in congestive heart failure and arrhythmias.

Berberine also has antimicrobial activity, effective against staph, strep, Chlamydia, and candida. It is also effective against parasites, such as giardia, trichomonas, and amoebas. One study comparing berberine with Flagyl, a half dose of berberine was as effective against parasites as a full does of the drug. It may also be effective against MRSA, and the ulcer-causing bacteria, h. pylori.

Like other beneficial natural antimicrobials, such as garlic, berberine does not kill our beneficial gut bacteria.

The standard dose for most of the above research is 500 mg. three times daily. Contact us if you would like to try berberine.