The mechanism of action underlying berberine’s in influence on health is due primarily to its action on adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

AMPK is an enzyme which acts as a central energy control switch regulating how energy is produced and used in the body.

It is sometimes referred to as the “metabolic master switch” because it responds to changes in energy metabolism on a cellular and whole-body level. AMPK regulates various biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.

Metabolic Syndrome & Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature mortality.

MetS occurs when these AMPK- regulated pathways are turned on, triggering a syndrome that includes increased blood sugar, inflammation, abdominal obesity, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, and energy imbalances.

Only a few chemicals are known to activate AMPK. Berberine is one of them as well as resveratrol and the prescription medication Metformin. Many studies show that berberine can significantly reduce blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. In fact, its effectiveness is comparable to the popular diabetes drug Metformin.

Berberine works via multiple different mechanisms:

  • Decreases insulin resistance
  • Helps the body break down sugars inside cells (glycolysis)
  • Decreases sugar production in the liver
  • Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut
  • Increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut


Nature’s best-kept secret for:

  • Weight loss
  • Blood sugar
  • Heart health

There have been approximately 2,800 scientific studies… over one-third of these studies have been published in the last 5 years.

Natural alkaloid found in a wide variety of traditional herbs, including plants such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry.

Primarily used for its antimicrobial (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses), anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing properties. However, newer research is uncovering
that berberine’s value extends far beyond these benefits.

In one study of 116 diabetic patients, taking 1 g of berberine per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20%, from 7.0 to 5.6 mmol/L (126 to 101 mg/dL), or from diabetic to normal levels

Berberine also lowered hemoglobin A1c by 12% (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), and also improved blood lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides.

Berberine & Weight Loss

AMPK activation is reported to underlie berberine’s anti-obesity effects and favourable influence on weight loss by boosting fat burning in the mitochondria. Overall, studies show that berberine is a potent lipid-lowering compound that has a moderate weight loss effect. Berberine also plays a role in enhancing brown fat activity.

Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it, and this may have important implications when it comes to weight loss.

Berberine & Heart Health

Another study showed that berberine reduced total cholesterol low-density lipoprotein (LDL-c) and triglyceride (TG) levels. TG levels play a significant role in the development of coronary heart disease.

Berberine has been shown to decrease abnormally high concentrations of fats and lipids by promoting the excretion of cholesterol from the liver, reducing inflammation, and inhibiting the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.

In addition, part of berberine’s positive e ect on heart health is its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce obesity to lessen the risk of coronary heart disease.

Many consumers are not familiar with berberine as a dietary supplement, and it’s not a household word yet, but this little-known all-natural plant- based alkaloid is making headlines and has solid research showing vast health benefits.


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Yin J, Xing H, Ye J. Ef cacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes. Metabolism. 2008 May; 57(5):712-717.