Berberine – for Cancer Prevention, Anxiety, Depression, Increased fat burning, and more!
Berberine is a yellow alkaloid found in several plants/herbs such as goldenseal and phellodendron. It is a powerful plant chemical with proven antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and immune enhancing properties. Herbs containing berberine have a long history of effective use and there is considerable science backing these uses.
It is also extremely helpful for treatment of seasonal allergies traveler’s diarrhea, food poisoning, and as an oral hypoglycemic for Type 2 diabetes.
As per Dr. Michael Murray Berberine has been shown to:
- Produce results in clinical trials in improving Type 2 diabetes on par or better than conventional drugs including metformin.
- Improve blood lipid levels better than statins.
- Lower blood pressure in many subjects as well as any class of antihypertensive medication.
- Improve liver function and promote anti-obesity effects.
- Exert significant beneficial effects on digestive health and the microbiome.
- Produce very encouraging experimental data in a wide range of modern health issues including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and others.
How does Berberine work?
Berberine activates adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK is sometimes referred to as a "metabolic master switch" because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism.
AMPK causes a cascade of effects within cells involved with maintaining energy homeostasis. AMPK helps shift energy towards cellular repair and maintenance. It has many of the same effects as increasing exercise while at the same time restricting caloric intake.
Other benefits of Berberine include:
- Slowing the release of free fatty acids to help prevent harmful fat deposits
- Promoting insulin, leptin, and adiponectin function for a healthy metabolism
- Supporting healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range
- Promoting healthy insulin sensitivity
- Promoting healthy gut microflora
- Supporting healthy lipid metabolism
- Stimulating the release of nitric oxide for healthy blood flow
Berberine Helps Ease Anxiety and Depression
Another benefit of AMPK is that it protects neurons and increases key neurotransmitters which improves brain function and psychological well-being. So, it should not be surprising that several studies have shown that Berberine is very useful for anxiety and depression.
Berberine and Cancer Prevention
Berberine slows cancer growth and causes cancer cell death through a variety of mechanisms: tumor cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, inhibits blood vessel growth to tumors, inhibition of tumor cellular invasion and metastases (spread), etc.
One of the main anti-cancer targets that is inhibited by berberine is NF-kappa B. NF-kappa B is one of the most important proteins in our cells, acting as a key switch in the development and progression of inflammation and cancer.
· Cancer (and precancerous cells) often have a permanently activated NF-kappa B, which keeps the cells proliferating and prevents them from dying (apoptosis.)
· Chronic inflammation can also be a result of activated NF-kappa B, and we know that chronic inflammation can lead to cancer growth
· Additionally, Berberine sensitizes cancer cells to the effects of radiation but NOT of normal cells. So Berberine may make radiation therapy more effective.
Berberine also inhibits the tendency of cancer cells to become drug resistant over time by inhibiting the cellular membrane proteins that pump drugs out of the cell. When Berberine is taken with numerous chemotherapy drugs, studies have shown that they work synergistically to fight cancer.
Contraindications for Berberine
· Displaces bilirubin and should not be administered to jaundiced neonates (may increase bilirubin levels due to displacement of bilirubin from albumin)
· May cause a prolonged QT (a variable in cardiac electrical conduction) in patients with underlying heart disease
While Berberine is quite safe and well-tolerated, it may be contraindicated if you’re taking medications. For example, Berberine may hinder absorption of tetracycline and other similar antibiotics, rendering them ineffective. Also, because Berberine significantly inhibits CYP3A enzymes — enzymes needed to metabolize most drugs — it can lower the clearance of medications, which in turn can augment their effect. This can lead to overdose, the risks of which will vary depending on the drug in question.
Berberine increases the effects of drugs that lower blood sugar so it is critical that you not mix Berberine with these drugs unless under the supervision of a physician. IT is important to note that Berberine produces all the benefits of Metformin with much lower risks!
Sources of Berberine
Berberine is available as an isolated supplement OR through certain herbs such as goldenseal or Phellodendron. Nexrutine is a patented Phellodendron Extract with high levels of Berberine that is particularly effective at reducing joint pain, improving mood, and reducing prostate inflammation and likely prostate cancer risk. Phellodendron also has has a long history of being used to treat prostate inflammation and prostatitis.