If someone in your life has diabetes, you may have heard of berberine by now. This powerful herb has been used by traditional medicine practitioners for centuries. In recent years, scientific research has shown that berberine can provide a host of health benefits. What exactly is berberine and how can it help with diabetes? Ancient Bliss, a provider of quality organic supplements, explains.
What is Berberine?
Berberine or berberine hydrochloride can be found in a group of plants that include barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid, an organic compound that can perform a wide range of biological actions in our bodies. Many natural alkaloids have medicinal properties such as anticancer or antioxidant properties.
Found in the stem, bark, rhizomes, and roots of Berberis shrub plants, berberine is commonly used as a natural dye due to its intense yellow color. For centuries, berberine has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat an array of ailments such as diabetes and digestive diseases. Now, modern science has verified the health benefits of berberine.
Berberine and Blood Sugar
Conditions like prediabetes and diabetes are due to diminished insulin production or insulin resistance. Some pregnancy hormones can decrease the sensitivity of the body to insulin, causing temporary gestational diabetes as well. When you have diabetes, your body has trouble absorbing the existing glucose from the bloodstream. Meanwhile, it produces more glucose in the liver and kidneys. This results in abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Elevated blood sugar levels will cause excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, numbness in the hands and feet, slow-healing wounds, and extremely frequent infections. Prolonged, uncontrolled high blood sugar can significantly increase the risk of life-threatening complications such as gangrene, nerve damage in your limbs, cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, or permanent eye damage.
Several studies have shown that berberine may help to lower blood sugar levels and work as a diabetes treatment. Berberine is thought to work by stimulating insulin production, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing glucose production, boosting the breakdown of glucose (glycolysis), regulating metabolism, and controlling the rate of carbohydrate absorption in the digestive system.
In one study, researchers compared subjects being treated with berberine to subjects being treated with metformin, a conventional diabetes medication. Over three months, researchers discovered that berberine was just as effective as metformin. Subjects experienced lower blood sugar levels as quickly as one week after starting their herbal regiment. Subjects who combined berberine with metformin had the best blood sugar control outcomes. The study concluded that berberine is a potent oral hypoglycemic agent.
Other Benefits of Berberine
Aside from its impressive effects on our blood sugar regulation, there is evidence that berberine can have many other health benefits as well.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that berberine can help to increase high-density lipoprotein (‘good’ cholesterol), reduce low-density lipoprotein (‘bad’ cholesterol), lower triglyceride levels, and decrease blood pressure. In one study, researchers found that berberine helps to expel high concentrations of lipids in the blood by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the gut and by moving excess cholesterol to the liver where it is excreted.
Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Berberine is thought to activate the AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) enzyme in our bodies which regulates metabolism and promotes the burning of fat. Studies have found that subjects who consumed barberry (a plant high in berberine) experienced a significant decrease in weight and body mass index readings.
Heart and Liver Health
Aside from regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, berberine can improve heart health by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves the function of the arteries. Berberine may also offer benefits for patients with liver disease by improving glucolipid metabolism.
Who is Ancient Bliss?
Ancient Bliss crafts herbal supplement brand that aims to restore your body, mind, and spirit to its optimal condition. Founded by Macy Schuchart, Ancient Bliss is born from the wisdom of natural and traditional healers. In Hawaii, Schuchart studied the path of preventative healthcare and herbalism with indigenous communities. She founded Ancient Bliss to educate and empower others to rejuvenate their bodies with natural supplements.
Every supplement in the Ancient Bliss range is extensively researched and prepared with organic, sustainable, and ethically-sourced ingredients of the highest quality. They have simplified the healthcare process by providing proprietary blends backed by science that you can easily integrate into your daily lifestyle. Ancient Bliss’ berberine supplement is combined with organic Ceylon cinnamon for enhanced blood sugar-regulating effects.
Berberine is a powerful compound that can reduce your blood sugar, regulate your cholesterol, and prevent a host of serious health problems. Indigenous cultures have deep wisdom to share about caring for our bodies with natural medicine. Through their pure and potent supplements, Ancient Bliss uses this knowledge to help you reconnect with your body and enjoy the health that you deserve.