Can Berberine Help with Weight Loss?

Berberine is one weight loss aid that sticks out of the mold, being brought into the spotlight for claims of being a natural weight loss aid that also puts blood sugar levels in line. While there are reviews that support this, we need to see if there's any real backing to this, so let's dive in and see if Berberine is, in fact, the weight loss aid you've been searching for.

key findings

  • Research shows Berberine directly impacts enzymes responsible for metabolism and energy regulation
  • Human studies show that Berberine supplementation can positively affect gut microbiome, leading to more efficient fat processing and reduced fat storage
  • Berberine must be taken with a meal or shortly after, so you can take full advantage of its sugar-regulating effects, which can help curb cravings and appetites—weight loss

Berberine Basics 

Berberine is a compound found in plants like turmeric, barberry, goldenseal, and Oregon grape. The compound has been influential in Holistic Medicine for thousands of years, taken only orally for its benefits. 

Over the years, modern medicine carefully extracted this compound from plants to form safe and effective supplements, which we see on our shelves today. Berberine has a long list of health benefits linked to its use, even though it has a fairly limited nutrient profile compared to vitamins and minerals. 

Research shows that it can improve sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which doesn't just positively impact our health but also our waistlines. Improved insulin sensitivity helps regulate blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can reduce insatiable food cravings and appetites. 

The improvement also allows your body to use and manage sugar more effectively, contributing to less fat storage, particularly in the tummy area. Insulin sensitivity can also indirectly support weight management by reducing risks of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which are culprits behind excessive weight gain.

What do Studies Say About Berberine for Weight Loss

A consistent finding seen in most studies is Berberine's impact on AMPK

AMPK is an enzyme that acts like an energy manager in your body, crucial in regulating metabolism and energy levels. Think of it as a switch that flicks on when your energy is low, helping you tap into stored fat for energy instead of encouraging your body to consume unnecessary calories to get a boost. 

This can lead to mild weight loss over a period of time.

Another way Berberine can contribute to weight loss is through the gut. An overview of experimental human and animal in-vitro studies has highlighted the beneficial role of Berberine in obesity management. The data showed that a daily dose of 500mg of Berberine positively affected the gut microbiome, leading to more efficient fat processing and reduced fat storage

The presence of beneficial gut bacteria also promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids, which enhance metabolism and regulate fat formation supporting weight loss. 

The overview also mentioned that supplementation improved nutrient absorption, suppressed appetites, and kept inflammation at bay, effects which are beneficial to weight loss.

How Berberine Should I take Weight Loss?

Most studies, including the ones we looked at earlier, use 500mg daily, which has been shown to produce desired results with no side effects. A large number of Berberine supplements follow suit containing the same. 

However, dosage frequency varies from 1-3 times daily, bringing recommended doses up to 1500mg daily. This isn't incorrect as evidence confirms that the standard Berberine dose is 900-2000mg daily, divided into 3-4 doses. If these doses are exceeded, it could lead to an upset tummy, cramping, or diarrhea.

It also states that Berberine must be taken with a meal or shortly after, so you can take full advantage of its sugar-regulating effects, which can help curb cravings and appetites, in turn supporting weight loss.

Final Word 

Berberine has a mixture of human and animal studies under its belt, all resulting in positive outcomes for overall health and weight loss. This means using a Berberine supplement can support both weight loss and weight maintenance, but as with all natural aids, use must be paired with a beneficial diet and exercise routine. Just remember to stay within the ideal dosing range, as higher amounts of the ingredient can cause some adverse effects that can slow down your weight loss journey.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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