Berberine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Berberine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Berberine?

Berberine is an active chemical compound found in a few plants and trees. It is extracted from the roots, stems, bark, and rhizomes of a tree. It is a yellow-colored substance and tastes bitter. Under UV light, it shows a strong yellow fluorescence. It belongs to an alkaloid class of compounds. Alkaloids are a group of natural substances that have at least one nitrogen atom. It is a natural and powerful supplement with many health benefits.

What are the uses of Berberine?

Berberine is a completely natural plant extract that has many uses. It also has many health benefits that work at the molecular level in our body. Following are a few of its benefits.

  • Lowers blood sugar levels 
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Soothes canker sores
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduces testosterone levels
  • Beneficial in treating PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases
  • It’s a natural yellow-colored dye.
  • Effective antimicrobial agent
Book Doctor Appointment
Book Online Doctor Appointment
Search Specialty Doctor
Health Packages

What are the side effects of Berberine?

Studies did not show any severe side effects after using berberine. It is found to be safe for use in many adults. However, a few symptoms that can be seen occasionally are

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea

Berberine is not recommended for children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use it without a doctor’s recommendation, even though studies did not find any risk to the fetus.

It can also have drug interaction and reduce the effects of certain prescription drugs.


Frequently Asked Questions about Berberine

1. Can berberine be taken on an empty stomach?

The recommended dosage of berberine is 500 mg three times a day. It should be taken half an hour before meals. It does not cause severe side effects, so taking it on an empty stomach should be ok. But be careful, as it can cause some stomach problems.

2. How long can you take berberine?

Currently, the recommended duration for berberine is six months. They are still studying its long-term benefits and side effects.

3. Can you take berberine and metformin together?

Yes, you can take them together. Berberine and metformin both have similar anti-diabetic actions and mechanisms. A study has shown that when they are used together, they work effectively in lowering blood sugar levels. Berberine also helped lower metformin dosage.

4. Does berberine increase testosterone?

This study has shown that berberine does not decrease testosterone levels in men. In contrast, it lowered testosterone and androgen in females. Another similar study demonstrated that berberine does not affect fertility but reduces androgen and testosterone in women. It is particularly beneficial in women with PCOS.

5. Can berberine cause heart palpitations?

Berberine has many therapeutic benefits in heart conditions like heart failure, stroke, hypertension, etc. Many studies proved its cardiac benefits. However, this study recommended monitoring berberine in patients who already have palpitations.

6. Does berberine lower cholesterol?

Yes, berberine lowers total cholesterol and low-density lipid (LDL) levels in the blood. It also increases high-density lipid (HDL) proportion, beneficial cholesterol that reduces the risk of heart diseases.

7. Does berberine lower blood pressure?

Yes, berberine can lower blood pressure when combined with lifestyle modifications. It can also work efficiently along with other anti-hypertensive medications. Its mechanism on how it controls blood pressure is still being studied.

8. Does turmeric contain berberine?

Tree turmeric is a plant, and it contains berberine. It is extracted from its bark, roots, stems, fruits, leaves, and wood. However, tree turmeric is different from turmeric, which is used in cooking. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) does not contain berberine.

9. Is berberine bad for kidneys?

No, berberine is not bad for kidneys. In contrast, it is protective for the kidneys. This study proves that berberine reduces the scarring of kidneys in conditions that cause kidney injury. The mechanism of this is currently unknown.

10. Is berberine a natural antibiotic?

Berberine is an effective antimicrobial agent. It reduces infections that cause sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. It is also effective in skin infections. It can kill bacteria by damaging its protein and DNA.

11. Can berberine damage the liver?

No, berberine protects the liver and increases liver function.

Consult our medical experts for a free second opinion

Get Free Second Opinion

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.