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Berberine

berberine
By Medicover Hospitals / 11 Mar 2021
Home | Medicine | Berberine

What is Berberine?

  • Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be derived from a variety of plants, including the Berberis genus of shrubs. It is classified as an alkaloid in the scientific community. It has a yellow color and often used as a dye. The medication is part of ayurvedic medicine for thousand years. This works in multiple ways in the body and is able to make various changes within the body’s cells. Berberine is also useful for the treatment of various metabolic health conditions which also include diabetes, obesity and heart problems.
    1. Berberine Uses
    2. Berberine Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Overdose
    5. Warnings
    6. Storage
    7. Berberine vs Metmorfin
    8. Frequently Asked Questions
    9. Citations

    Berberine Uses:

  • It is a compound in various plants that includes goldenseal, braberry, Oregon grape and tree turmeric. Berberine supplements are used for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and inflammation. Mainly, the medication is used for treating various conditions like high levels of cholesterol, fats/ lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia) and high blood pressure. Also, it is used for burns, canker sores, liver disease and various chronic conditions.
  • Berberine causes stronger heartbeats. This also helps people with certain heart conditions. The medication also helps to regulate how the body uses sugar in the blood. It can also help people with diabetes. The drug might also be able to kill bacteria or reduces swelling.
  • Berberine Side Effects:

  • Some of the common and major side effects of Berberine are:
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas
    • Stomach Upset
    • Headache
    • Digestion problem
    • Severe stomach cramp
    • Flatulence
  • The common side effects don’t need any medical attention and will disappear as your body gets adjusted to the dosage. But if you are facing any kind of serious or rare side effects then immediately seek medical attention.
  • Precautions:

  • Before taking Berberine, talk with your doctor if you are allergic to it or any other medications related to it. The product can contain some inactive ingredients which can cause some serious allergic reactions and other serious problems. Berberine has a high risk of interfering with drugs, and some of these reactions may be severe. When high doses are used, gastrointestinal upset may occur, and because of its ability to lower blood sugar, it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
  • How to use Berberine?

  • Berberine is a supplement that comes in the form of capsules. As there is no set dosage for this medication, a person can use 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day. Firstly the person should start with a lower dosage and then he should be increasing it to 1,500 mg. The medication can be divided into three doses i.e. 500 mg thrice a day.
  • According to human and animal studies, 1500mg of berberine, given in three divided doses i.e. 500mg doses, is as effective as 1500mg of metformin or 4mg glibenclamide. The drugs' effectiveness was determined by how much they decreased biomarkers of type 2 diabetes.
  • Missed Dose:

  • If you forget to take your dose, remember to take it as soon as possible. However, if your next dose is approaching, simply take it at the scheduled time. Do not take two doses at once as it can increase the chance of getting some unwanted side effects.
  • Overdose:

  • Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed berberine tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
  • Warnings for serious Health Conditions:

  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding:
  • If you're pregnant, you should avoid taking berberine orally. Berberine can pass into the placenta and cause damage to the fetus. Research has shown that newborn infants who are exposed to berberine can suffer from kernicterus (brain damage).
  • The medication is also not safe to be taken while breastfeeding as it can pass into the breastmilk and cause some serious harm to the baby.
  • Diabetes:
  • Berberine has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. If taken by diabetic persons may theoretically cause blood sugar to drop too low who are monitoring their blood sugar with insulin or drugs. If you have diabetes, use caution.
  • High bilirubin levels in the blood:
  • Bilirubin is a chemical formed by the breakdown of old red blood cells. Liver usually removes it. Berberine can inhibit the liver's ability to remove bilirubin quickly and it can result in brain problems, particularly in infants who have high bilirubin levels in their blood.
  • Low blood pressure:
  • The medication can lower blood pressure. Try to use the drug with caution in people with low blood pressure.
  • Storage:

  • Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. Exposure to medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach. Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
  • Berberine vs Metmorfin:

    Berberine
    Metmorfin
    Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be derived from a variety of plants, including the Berberis genus of shrubs. It is classified as an alkaloid in the scientific community. Metformin is an oral diabetes drug that helps to control blood sugar levels. The medication is used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
    It is a compound in various plants that includes goldenseal, braberry, Oregon grape and tree turmeric. Berberine supplements are used for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and inflammation. Metformin is used with an appropriate diet and exercise program and possibly with other medicines to control high blood sugar levels. It is used for type 2 diabetic patients.
    Some of the common and major side effects of Berberine are:
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas
    • Stomach Upset
    Most common side effects of Metformin are:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach pain
    • Diarrhea

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Berberine is widely used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). It's also used to treat burns, canker sores, liver disease, and a variety of other ailments, but there's no clinical evidence to back up many of these claims.
    In people with high cholesterol, taking berberine supplements on a daily basis tends to reduce total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides. It differs from today's traditional cholesterol medications in that it can be used to treat patients who have become immune to other cholesterol-lowering medications.
    Berberine's sub-chronic toxicity has been linked to lung and liver damage by raising alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
    Berberine destroys the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is commonly treated with acyclovir. Berberine helps with traumatic brain injury since it protects neurons in the brain and decreases inflammation (TBI).
    Some of the common and major side effects of Berberine are:
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gas
    • Stomach Upset
    Berberine can be useful as a weight-loss supplement as well. Two studies have looked at the impact on body weight so far. In a 12-week study of obese people, taking 500 mg three times a day resulted in an overall weight loss of 5 pounds.

    Citations:

  • Berberine, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-46304-4_38
  • Berberine effects, https://www.metabolismjournal.com/article/S0026-0495(02)00111-7/abstract