In the world of natural remedies and herbal supplements, Berberine has gained significant attention recently. This unique compound, derived from various plants, has a long and fascinating history of traditional use. In this article, we delve into the origins of Berberine, explore its diverse applications, and discuss its current popularity.
Berberine has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It was first extracted from the roots, stems, and bark of plants such as Berberis vulgaris (common barberry), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric), and Coptis chinensis (Chinese goldthread). Ancient Chinese texts, dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), mention the use of Berberine for its medicinal properties, particularly in treating gastrointestinal ailments.
The therapeutic potential of Berberine stems from its remarkable properties. It possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hypoglycemic effects, making it a versatile compound for various health concerns. One of the main functions of Berberine is to activate a crucial enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which regulates metabolism. (1)
Over the years, scientific studies have validated its effectiveness in helping decrease insulin resistance, (2) increasing glycolysis (helping your body breakdown sugars), helping lower blood sugar, and A1c levels (3). Studies have also shown berberine to help decrease LDL cholesterol (4), decrease triglycerides, and even to help lower apolipoprotein B. (5)
With growing interest in natural alternatives, Berberine has found its way into mainstream health practices. Its benefits extend to supporting weight loss (6), improving gut health (8), and enhancing insulin sensitivity (7). Furthermore, research suggests that Berberine may have potential applications in neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic disorders, although further studies are needed to establish its efficacy in these areas (9).
Recently, TikTok has become a hub for health and wellness trends. Influencers and users have taken to the platform to share their experiences and recommendations regarding various supplements and natural remedies.
Berberine has emerged as a trending topic on TikTok, with individuals sharing their success stories, exploring its benefits, and discussing its potential in managing different health conditions.
The growing awareness and interest towards Berberine can be attributed to its natural origin, affordability, and anecdotal experiences shared by users.
Weight loss and blood sugar control has been a hot topic in the past year, with many people, and celebrities, turning to medications such as Ozempic and Metformin for weight loss. However, the trend on the more holistic-health side of platforms, see people favoring natural remedies such as Berberine, sometimes referred to by influencers as "natures' Metformin."
How does Berberine contribute to weight loss:
Berberine has gained attention for its potential uses in promoting weight loss. Research studies have suggested that berberine may have beneficial effects on body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. For instance, a study published in the journal Metabolism in 2008 investigated the effects of berberine on obese human subjects. The
study found that berberine supplementation led to significant reductions in body weight and BMI compared to the placebo group. It concluded that berberine may be a promising natural option for weight management and food cravings, leading to a decrease in calorie intake and potential weight loss. (10)
Fat Storage Inhibition:
Berberine has been suggested to inhibit the growth of fat cells (adipocytes). In simple terms, berberine has been found to prevent the formation of fat cells caused by a high-fat diet. It stops the process called adipogenesis, which is when pre-fat cells turn into fully developed fat cells. This means that berberine can help reduce the amount of fat accumulation in the body. (11)
Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Berberine has been found to enhance insulin sensitivity, meaning it helps the body's cells respond better to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. By improving insulin sensitivity, Berberine may help control blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of weight gain associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.(10)
Expert Advice and Caution:
While social media helps share valuable experiences, it is crucial to approach information with a critical mindset. As with any supplement or herbal remedy, it is essential to consult healthcare professionals before incorporating Berberine into your routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications that may interact with it.
Berberine TPGS from Provita Nutrition
Provita Nutrition Berberine is one of the first natural health products to include complimentary ingredients to aid in the absorption of Berberine, thus helping to enhance its tremendous benefits. What many people do not realize is that Berberine is very poorly absorbed; in fact studies show less than 1% is absorbed into the bloodstream.(12) This is due to a combination of factors including poor solubility (13) and extensive detoxification effects in the liver due to first pass metabolism.(14)
To address poor solubility, Provita Nutrition uses Berberine HCl. This includes the same active ingredient, berberine; however, Berberine HCl is an extract of Berberine that is more concentrated and more soluble and, thus, better absorbed. Furthermore, Provita utilizes several key ingredients, including Tocophersolan and Chitosan to help limit liver metabolization and, thus, improve intestinal absorption and bioavailability.
Finally, the ingredients are encapsulated in a delayed release (DR) vegetarian capsule (using Gellan Gum technology) that minimizes the impact of stomach acids (15) and maximizes ingredient absorption.
In summary, people are finding success with Berberine for many reasons including, weight loss, reduction of fat, improved blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. However, buyer beware, not all Berberine is created equal! As mentioned above, Provita’s Berberine TPGS is a highly absorbable version which can enhance the benefits of taking this herb tremendously.
Please note that these references are for informational purposes only, and it is always advisable to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and information regarding the use of any supplements or natural remedies.