Berberine May Help You Lose Weight

Berberine may also be effective as a weight loss supplement.

So far, two studiesTrusted Source have examined the effects on body weight.

In a 12-week study in obese individuals, 500 mg taken three times per day caused about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average. The participants also lost 3.6% of their body fat (14).

Another more impressive study was conducted in 37 men and women with metabolic syndrome. This study went on for 3 months, and the participants took 300 mg, 3 times per day.

The participants dropped their body mass index (BMI) levels from 31.5 to 27.4, or from obese to overweight in only 3 months. They also lost belly fat and improved many health markers (15Trusted Source).

The researchers believe that the weight loss is caused by improved function of fat-regulating hormones, such as insulin, adiponectin and leptin.

Berberine also appears to inhibit the growth of fat cells at the molecular level (16Trusted Source17Trusted Source).

However, more research is needed on the weight loss effects of berberine.

Dosage and Side Effects

Many of the studies cited in the article used dosages in the range of 900 to 1500 mg per day.

It is common to take 500 mg, 3 times per day, before meals (a total of 1500 mg per day).

Berberine has a half-life of several hours, so it is necessary to spread your dosage to several times per day to achieve stable blood levels.

If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, then it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before taking it.

This is especially important if you are currently taking blood sugar lowering medications.

Overall, berberine has an outstanding safety profile. The main side effects are related to digestion, and there are some reports of cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and stomach pain (10Trusted Source).

What is berberine?

Berberine is an herbal supplement made from a chemical compound that naturally occurs in the roots and bark of a wide variety of plants.

It's the primary active compound in a plant known as Rhizoma coptidis, which has been used to treat inflammation and bacterial infections in traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries (4Trusted Source).

Berberine is also found in several plants that belong to the Berberis genus. B. vulgaris — commonly known as barberry — is often used in Chinese Medicine to treat issues related to the heart, liver, and digestive tract (5Trusted Source).

Many commercial berberine supplements are extracted from barberry, but it may also be derived from other plants, including Oregon grape, goldenseal, and tree turmeric (6Trusted Source).

Today, berberine is frequently used as an alternative to conventional medications for managing symptoms associated with PCOS, as well as various symptoms that may increase a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes, such as (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source):

  • high blood sugar
  • insulin resistance
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity

It's also occasionally used to treat diarrhea, canker sores, and burns, but little scientific evidence is available to support its efficacy for these purposes.

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