Berberine is a bitter yellow plant alkaloid that has long been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Berberine is found in several plants such as goldenseal and barberry. The medicinal use of Berberine goes back more than 3,000 years. Modern science has now identified precise mechanisms of action and given clear indications for the therapeutic benefits of berberine.
In the case of diabetes, human trials have shown that the use of berberine increases the production of insulin receptors in cell membranes. These receptors are needed for normal sugar metabolism. This effect is likely responsible for lower fasting blood sugar levels, lower blood sugar levels after meals, and improvements in blood sugar markers seen in patients after supplementation with berberine.
In terms of the cardiovascular benefits of berberine, it appears that the alkaloid improves the quality of life and cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure. Indeed, patients reported an increased tolerance for exercise, less fatigue, and less episodes of shortness of breath. There were also fewer deaths reported in the berberine group. Berberine supplementation appears to decrease cholesterol levels and reduces inflammatory markers.
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