Berberine for Weight Loss: Does it Actually Work? | Purovitalis

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Does Berberine Help with Weight Loss?

A woman happily measuring her waist after experiencing successful weight loss with the help of a berberine supplement.

Recently, berberine, a bioactive compound found in several plants, has taken social media by storm. Branded as ‘nature’s Ozempic,’ the supplement offers several positive effects on health, including weight loss.

But is it really as effective as they say? Does berberine help with weight loss? Although research suggests the supplement provides many benefits, whether it can help lose weight is still to be determined. In the article below, we take a look at current studies examining berberine, the supplement’s effects, risks, and potential side effects.

What is Berberine?

If you think you’ve heard about berberine before, it’s likely because the compound has a long history in traditional medicine, including Chinese and Native American practices. Historically, berberine was used to treat a number of different illnesses, like diarrhoea, jaundice, acne, and even eye conditions.

Nowadays, however, the supplement is mostly promoted as a solution for weight loss. It is a type of plant substance known as an alkaloid, which can be found in many different plants, like goldenseal, barberry, and others. Interestingly, since berberine is yellow, it’s often used as a dye.

What is Berberine Used for?

From what you can see on social media, berberine is used for a number of different things. From TikTok to Instagram reels, first-person online testimonials claim that the supplement has helped them with weight loss, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and more.

And while it almost seems too good to be true, science seems to back up these claims. In fact, studies reveal that berberine can be an excellent solution for several health issues. According to research, the supplement can help with:

Is Berberine Good for Weight Loss?

Although berberine is marketed as a weight-loss solution, it’s important to note that many of the claims have not been approved by peer-reviewed studies. In fact, most of the research on the supplement’s effects has been conducted on animals rather than humans.

Still, some scientists believe that one way the supplement can help with weight loss is by stopping fat molecules from growing inside the body. Likewise, berberine is thought to have a positive effect on regulating a person’s metabolism. These two factors combined can consequently lead to weight loss. However, more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms.

So, what is better for weight loss – berberine or Ozempic? The answer is not simple because the two aren’t really comparable. Berberine is an herbal supplement that offers a number of different effects. Ozempic, on the other hand, is a licensed medication and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Taking Berberine and Metformin Together for Weight Loss

Many weight loss trends gain popularity through social media, but whether they are based on science or not often remains a question. Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about taking berberine and metformin together to stimulate weight loss.

Metformin is known to be a medication for type 2 diabetes. And while it’s not approved as a weight loss pill, some people have experienced weight loss after taking it.

So is it safe to take berberine for weight loss, together with metformin? Generally, yes. Berberine and metformin don’t directly interact with each other, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues when taking them. However, it’s unclear whether taking both has any real weight loss benefits.

According to research, it may be more beneficial to take berberine and metformin for treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It seems that the combination of the two has an additive effect.

Dosage: How to Use Berberine for Weight Loss?

As with any supplement, you should first talk to your healthcare provider before taking berberine for weight loss. This is important because it may interact with other medications (such as cyclosporine) or supplements, which can risk your well-being. Likewise, if you’re already taking blood sugar-lowering medication, it’s critical that you discuss it with your doctor before.

If you’re wondering about the best berberine dosage for weight loss, it’s generally thought that you shouldn’t take more than 1,500 mg per day.

As of now, there’s not enough research to fully understand the long-term effects of the supplement. That’s why it’s recommended not to take berberine for more than six months.

Keep in mind that the best time to take berberine for weight loss is just before eating.

Berberine Supplements for Weight Loss: Is It Safe?

Overall, berberine is considered to be safe when taken in recommended amounts. However, it shouldn’t be used by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Likewise, it’s important to check whether the medication you already use doesn’t interact with the supplement. Unlike other similar options, berberine is known to be interactive with several different drugs.

When it comes to side effects, it’s worth noting that the supplement can sometimes cause gastrointestinal issues like constipation, nausea, diarrhoea, gas, and vomiting.

Other Benefits of Berberine

Although berberine is mostly discussed as a silver bullet for weight loss, it offers other health benefits, too. Below, you’ll find a couple of examples.

Reduces Risks of Heart Diseases

Heart diseases are caused by a number of different factors. What’s fascinating is that berberine seems to have a positive effect on many of these aspects, including lowering total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol), as well as decreasing blood triglycerides and increasing HDL (good cholesterol).

As you may know, a high level of cholesterol is directly linked with risks of heart disease. If there’s too much cholesterol in your body, your blood vessels may develop fatty deposits, which make it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries.

Blood Sugar Control

While it’s normal for your blood sugar levels to change throughout the day, high blood levels for a long period of time can lead to various health problems. As studies show, berberine can be a solution to this issue, as it seems to lower glucose levels in people with diabetes. Moreover, the supplement also helps the body respond better to insulin.

Helps With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

People with PCOS usually experience a set of issues that berberine is thought to be helpful with, like high blood pressure, high levels of insulin, high cholesterol, as well as being overweight. This systematic review showcases promising results for berberine as a PCOS treatment. However, further studies are required to fully understand the effects of berberine on PCOS.

Gut Health

Among berberine’s many benefits, it’s noted that it could also potentially help with gut help. According to research, the supplement has an antibacterial action, which can remove some of the harmful bacteria in our bodies. This, consequently, promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. However, more research is needed to confirm these facts.

Antioxidant Properties

A 2018 review in Frontiers in Pharmacology found that berberine’s antioxidant properties are on par with those of vitamin C, which is known to be a potent antioxidant. This means that berberine could potentially prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Conclusion

The popularity of berberine has significantly increased over the course of the last year, as demand for medications like Ozempic and Wegovy has grown, too. But if you’re thinking about taking a berberine supplement for weight loss, you should approach it with caution and a little bit of scepticism.

Remember that social media doesn’t offer the full picture. Many scientists believe that berberine isn’t strong enough to facilitate weight loss on its own. As much as we’d wish, there’s still no one-hit wonder that can effectively help lose weight. At the end of the day, you’ll still need to follow a proper diet and regularly exercise to reduce your body fat. If you’d like to learn more about the best supplements for your health and well-being, make sure to follow our blog here.

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