What is Berberine HCL?
Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from a variety of plants, including barberry, tree turmeric,
goldenseal, Amur cork trees, and the Oregon grape. The roots, stems, and bark are the richest sources of
berberine. Berberine has a bitter taste, as is the case for most alkaloids. It is a vibrant yellow color,
and dye makers use it to make the pigment Natural Yellow 18.
Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese (TCM) cultures historically used berberine supplements in several
homeopathic remedies. Berberine’s earliest uses were to support gastrointestinal health, heart health, and
the immune system. Berberine hydrochloride (HCL) is the most popular form of berberine supplement available
on the market. As a result, scientific studies often use the HCL variant.
Potential Berberine Benefits
Berberine for Heart Health
A significant portion of scientific research on berberine focuses on its heart health-boosting properties.
Berberine is able to protect heart tissue from oxidative injuries by regulating AMPK phosphorylation.
Berberine also conveys protective effects following an acute injury to the heart. Berberine also acts as a
vasorelaxant, meaning it may reduce vascular pressure.
Berberine also interacts with cholesterol and triglycerides, which may improve heart health. One study found
that berberine supplements reduced LDL cholesterol by 25% in participants with high plasma levels of
cholesterol. Berberine also increases LDL receptor synthesis while also reducing its degradation. LDL
receptors reduce cholesterol levels by pulling LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Berberine has positive implications for triglyceride levels as well. The body stores triglycerides as fat to
use for energy later. However, excess triglycerides increase the risk of several heart health complications.
One study noted that participants taking berberine supplements for four weeks saw a 16% reduction in their
triglyceride levels. Another study examined participants for 12 weeks and noted an even greater decrease in
triglycerides of 23%.
Berberine can help reduce blood sugar levels, too. It exerts this effect through a number of mechanisms.
Berberine supplements decrease insulin resistance, boost the body’s ability to break down sugar, lower sugar
synthesis in the liver, slow carbohydrate breakdown during digestion, and increase levels of good gut
Berberine for Weight Loss
Berberine may help individuals trying to lose weight. One study found that berberine improves insulin
sensitivity and inhibits fat storage in individuals with metabolic syndrome. After three months of study,
the participants lowered their body mass index (BMI) from an average of 31.5 to 27.4. Individuals with a BMI
over 30 are considered obese and at much higher risk of developing obesity-related health complications.
Berberine may impede fat cell growth as well.
Other Potential Berberine Benefits
Research is ongoing into berberine’s many beneficial properties. Some other areas of interest are berberine’s
- Improve cognitive function and memory
- Boost mood
- Reduce inflammation
- Enhance the immune system
- Exert antioxidant activity
Potential Berberine Side Effects
The most common berberine side effects are gastrointestinal. Some individuals may experience upset stomach,
gas, constipation, or diarrhea. Do not take berberine while on antibiotics, as the combination is toxic.
Berberine may interact with diabetes medication. Consult with a physician before taking a new supplement.
Tested by Accredited 3rd Party Labs
PureBulk's supplements are tested by accredited third party labs in the USA to ensure their identity, purity
and potency. To receive a copy of these test results or any other PureBulk supplement please fill out the COA request form found here.