Berberine Bark Extract: How It Works and the Many Benefits | 1MD Nutrition™

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Berberine Bark Extract: How It Works and the Many Benefits

Berberine bark extract possesses numerous properties beneficial to your health, such as fighting infection, preventing heart disease and cancer, and helping treat diabetes, among others. Read on to learn more.

7 minute read

Last Updated March 18, 2022

Berberine Bark Extract: How It Works and the Many Benefits

Berberine is a bioactive compound extracted from a group of plants called Berberis. As part of the organic compounds group of alkaloids, berberine bark extract possesses beneficial properties for human health. 

It is one of the most effective supplements available today. The most commonly known benefits of berberine extract are helping to promote heart health by aiding in the maintenance of blood glucose levels.

How Berberine Bark Extract Works

Berberine, like so many other naturally-occurring compounds, has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been used to promote heart health and more, and modern science now welcomes it too. 

Berberine is ingested and then transported through the blood to cells throughout the body. Within each cell, berberine molecules bind to and activate an enzyme called AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), which can be found in key organs such as the brain, muscle, liver, heart, and kidneys.

Berberine Bark Extract and Your Heart

Maintaining a healthy heart is critical, especially for Americans, and there are several factors that influence heart health such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and weight management. You can support each of these factors through a balanced diet, regular exercise, good health practices, and supplemental support. 

a pair of red and white glasses

Berberine bark extract is one such supplement that helps to promote heart and circulatory health by aiding in the maintenance of each of these factors.

Cholesterol: There are two types of cholesterol; LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. Berberine bark extract can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which increases HDL (good) cholesterol. When combined with healthy lifestyle choices, berberine can help you maintain cholesterol within a healthy range.

Blood pressure: By helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, berberine supports proper circulation and blood pressure by promoting the health of your blood vessels. Berberine can help maintain arterial strength and proper circulation as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.

♦ Weight: Berberine helps to support healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass when taken three times a day. Berberine can also activate brown adipose tissue, which helps turn food into body heat, which supports healthy weight management.

Berberine Bark Extract and Blood Glucose

Berberine is already working to support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as help you maintain a healthy weight. But, there is more this plant compound can do. Compounds in berberine also help you maintain blood glucose levels within a healthy range, which supports arterial, circulatory, and metabolic health.

a close-up of hands holding a syringe

Berberine works via several different mechanisms to promote healthy blood sugar levels:

♦ Increases glycolysis to help the body break down sugars inside cells
♦ Slows down carbohydrate breakdown in the gut
♦ Promotes healthy insulin activity and glucose absorption
♦ Supports the diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut
♦ Reduces the production of sugar in the liver

Additional Benefits of Berberine Bark Extract

Berberine bark extract possesses numerous properties beneficial to human health. Beyond supporting your heart and metabolic health, berberine also helps promote overall health in several ways.

Immune Health

Berberine extract helps support immune cell activity and promotes healthy immune responses, so the body is better able to defend itself against environmental threats.

Gut Health

Berberine bark helps promote diversity in your gut microbiome, which promotes healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, and helps reduce occasional indigestion that can occur after eating.

Healthy Aging

Berberine has the ability to alter the functions of enzymes within cells which can help reduce occasional oxidative stress to cells and promote healthy cellular growth and aging.

a close-up of a fish

Taking Berberine Bark Extract

The recommended dosage of berberine is between 900 and 1500 milligrams per day. Ideally, you want to take two doses of 500 milligrams each, before meals. The reason being that berberine has a short half-life of several hours. Taking it multiple times throughout the day ensures that you achieve and maintain healthy blood levels of the compound. 

There are a few possible side effects of taking berberine, such as cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, but these are typically associated with larger doses. If you have any medical conditions or are currently taking other supplements or medications, consult with your doctor before taking berberine bark extract.

The Bottom Line

Berberine bark possesses many beneficial plant compounds that can help you maintain healthy blood glucose levels for optimal heart, circulatory, and metabolic health. As part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management, berberine can also help support healthy aging and heart health.