Berberine HCL - Properties, Action, Dosage

Berberine HCL - properties, action, dosage

Berberine is still a relatively unknown compound, whose popularity is hard to find on world markets. This is mainly due to the fact that it is obtained from the common barberry - a shrub up to 2 meters high growing in Poland. However, the effects of berberine are extensive. Berberine taken for weight loss purposes is not the only reason for supplementation.

Berberine - properties

Berberis, from which berberine is mainly extracted, is a tall shrub with grey bark, angular branches, elliptical leaves and yellow flowers. The fruit of the shrub is a red, elongated berry. In Poland it grows in fields, forests, thickets, hills and clearings, but there are areas in the country where it does not grow at all. For cosmetic and medicinal purposes, all parts of the plant are used, i.e. the root, bark, leaf and fruit. This is because each of them contains nutrients, including malic and citric acid, vitamin C, sugars, flavonoids, mineral salts, tannins, pectin and alkaloids.

Berberine - effects

The multidirectional action of berberine makes it an excellent dietary supplement for many conditions or problems with health or well-being. Berberine is mainly used in diabetes and insulin resistance. This is due to the compound's ability to lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. The effect of berberine is so effective that it is compared with that of a first-line drug, namely metformin. It is also not without significance that it has a positive effect on the liver in case of liver failure.

Berberine facilitates weight loss, showing significant effects in reducing body weight. It enhances the activity of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by adipose tissue. Its task is to intensify the oxidation of fatty acids in metabolic processes. Berberine thus supports weight reduction - it has a positive effect on metabolism, aerobic metabolism and regulates appetite. What is more, berberine HCL shows comparable effectiveness to statins, i.e. cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The effects on the digestive system include not only weight reduction, but also improvement of the intestinal tract. Berberine not only affects the organ itself, but also the epithelial layer and tight junctions that serve as a barrier against the entry of pathogens and toxins into the bloodstream. This barrier protects against food allergies and even against autoimmune diseases. This compound can also be helpful in Irritable Bowel Syndrome as it reduces the amount of anaerobic bacteria in the gut.

In addition to its diabetes-supporting properties, berberine is being sought with hope as a cure for cancer. Research to date indicates a beneficial anti-cancer effect. Not only does it inhibit bone tumours, for example, but it can also inhibit and help with inflammation in the body, which often occurs with this type of cancer. Inhibiting and even stopping the progression of the disease also applies to liver cancer, which is particularly difficult to treat even with chemotherapy. Reducing the division of cancer cells and enhancing the death of pathologically changed cells.

Berberine is not only a physical action - it also has a positive effect on memory, thanks to improving the work of existing neurons, as well as influencing the formation of new ones. This compound also protects nerve cells which could be damaged as a result of e.g. blood clots, i.e. low blood supply. In addition, berberine is also used as a support in the fight against depression. It is not an antidepressant by itself, but it supports other antidepressants very well.

Berberine for weight loss

Berberine is recommended in particular to people who struggle with the problem of obesity and excess weight. Its action consists in accelerating the rate of fat tissue burning, as well as in increasing the feeling of satiety and supporting the utilisation of fats for energy needs. Berberine activates the AMPK enzyme, whose role is to regulate the metabolism process. This substance also influences the secretion of hormones - leptin, insulin and adiponectin - responsible for the formation of fat tissue and the feeling of satiety. What is more, berberine supports the use of energy substrates during exercise and regulates hormones that affect fat storage. All these properties make berberine often referred to as an excellent "fat burner".

Berberine with curcumin

Preparations containing berberine and curcumin are designed for athletes who need strong support for the digestive system and intensive joint regeneration. The berberine present in such products helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, lowers cholesterol and speeds up metabolism. It also supports maintenance of reproductive functions. Curcumin, in turn, acts on the immune system, facilitates digestion and supports liver function. It also has a strong antioxidant effect, supports blood circulation and heart function and helps maintain healthy bones and joints as it reduces inflammation. Berberine and curcumin therefore make an ideal duo to support the body during periods of increased physical exertion.

Berberine - posology

The dosage of berberine depends on several factors. First of all, it depends on the form in which it is taken. Berberine HCL, i.e. containing a pure form of alkaloids, usually has a predetermined dosage which should not be exceeded. In the case of plant extracts, it is most often the dried form that is used to prepare an infusion. This can be taken 2-3 times a day, preferably immediately after eating. However, it is important that the amount of the infusion is not large, as no more than 250 ml should be consumed per day.

A dose of 300-400 mg per day is thought to have a preventive effect, i.e. it should support glucose utilisation. A higher dose of up to 1000 mg will lower cholesterol levels, while a dose of 1500 mg already shows a strong blood sugar lowering effect.

Berberine - Contraindications

Berberine is not recommended for newborns or breastfeeding mothers as it is absorbed into the breast milk and can exacerbate jaundice. This compound may also react with other components of medicines, so before supplementation, one should make sure that it will not affect the medicines being taken. Pregnant women should also not take berberine, as it may lead to fetal hypoxia and developmental disorders. In small children it may cause nausea.

Berberine - side effects

The side effects mainly relate to long-term use of berberine. It takes a long time to be excreted from the body, which is why it may accumulate in the heart, pancreas and liver. For this reason, berberine may overload these organs, as well as disrupt their proper functioning or lead to their damage. Nevertheless, used correctly, it is a great support for the organism and helps in many diseases.


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