Berberine: 6 Health Benefits, Recommended Dose & Side Effects

Berberine is a natural phytotherapeutic that contains properties that reduce blood sugar and manage cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can be indicated for patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, or taken to prevent cardiovascular disease. 

Berberine appears to contain components that promote weight loss and increase the body’s capacity to burn fat. It can therefore be very useful in weight loss diets. 

Berberine is a product of plant nitrogenase that acts as a natural phytotherapeutic. It is extracted from plants, like Phellodendron chinense and Rhizoma coptidis. It is important to speak with a doctor or medicinal plant specialist before taking this supplement to ensure it is safe for use. 

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Health benefits

According to some studies, berberine can be used for: 

1. Managing diabetes

Some studies show that berberine supplementation in type 2 diabetics and people with metabolic syndrome can help to normalize blood sugar levels and optimize insulin functioning. This hormone is important for the transport of glucose to cells and for keeping sugar levels in the blood within normal ranges. 

This effect is similar to the action of medications used to control diabetes, therefore berberine may be used to optimize the effect of diabetes medication, as directed by a doctor. 

2. Promoting weight loss

Berberine contains action that increases the capacity for cells to produce energy. It stimulate fat loss and also reduces the production of fat cells in the body. 

This happens because berberine improve hormones that regulate fat, like insulin, leptin and adiponectin. This substance also reduces gene expression that stimulates fat accumulation in the body. 

3. Reducing cholesterol

In addition to weight loss, berberine also shows great results in reducing total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This can help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, like atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. 

When used together with medications and a balanced diet, berberine can help to increase HDL cholesterol levels, which can have a cardioprotective effect. 

4. Protecting the brain

Because it is a potent anti-inflammatory, berberine can help to protect brain cells from conditions like memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It protects the neurons in patients who have suffered strokes and can reduce related sequelae. 

5. Regulating intestinal flora

Berberine has an antimicrobial effect that acts on the intestines by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. It can also promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, which improve intestinal flow, protect the intestines and produce substances that help to regulate blood sugar levels. 

6. Controlling blood pressure

Berberine is also able to manage blood pressure levels, as it promotes vasodilation. It can be indicated to compliment the treatment of high blood pressure. 

Recommended dose

In general, the recommended dose of berberine is 500 mg, three times per day, 30 minutes before meals. However, it is important to consult a doctor about the therapeutic dose that may be beneficial for you. 

Possible side effects

Consuming berberine is generally safe, however excess doses can lead to side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and gas. 


Berberine is contraindicated for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women, as it can cause changes to normal fetal growth and may be passed through breastmilk.