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Berberine: A Natural Ally for Heart Health and Blood Sugar Management

Sunday, August 13th 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Maintaining optimal heart health and managing blood sugar levels are crucial aspects of overall well-being. Berberine, a compound found in several medicinal plants, has gained attention for its potential to support both cardiovascular health and blood sugar regulation. This article explores the scientific evidence surrounding berberine’s benefits, highlighting key findings from peer-reviewed studies.

Berberine and heart health

Cardioprotective effects

Several studies have shown that berberine possesses cardioprotective properties. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2017 analyzed 14 randomized controlled trials involving over 1,000 participants. The review revealed that berberine supplementation significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels, all of which contribute to improved heart health [1].

Blood pressure management

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Research has suggested that berberine may help manage blood pressure. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension in 2019 investigated the effects of berberine on blood pressure in individuals with prehypertension or hypertension. The study concluded that berberine supplementation significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to a placebo group [2].

Berberine and blood sugar management

Regulation of blood glucose levels

One of the most well-known benefits of berberine is its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Planta Medica in 2019 examined 27 randomized controlled trials involving over 2,500 participants. The analysis found that berberine supplementation was associated with significant reductions in fasting blood glucose levels, postprandial blood glucose levels, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels [3].

Insulin sensitivity

Insulin resistance, a condition in which cells become less responsive to insulin, is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Berberine has shown promising effects in improving insulin sensitivity. A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in 2018 investigated the effects of berberine on insulin sensitivity in individuals with metabolic syndrome. The results indicated that berberine supplementation significantly improved insulin sensitivity compared to a placebo [4].

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