For the many people looking for a safe, natural and healthy weight loss supplement, there may be a new, effective option available in the form of the herb berberine. Berberine has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries to treat diarrhea and other intestinal disorders, as it has strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, but only recently have western researchers began to study and understand its many other beneficial qualities—and the more they study it, the more of a true ‘miracle’ herb it appears to be.
Aids in fat loss and lowers blood pressure
Among berberine’s beneficial properties is its ability to aid in weight loss and lower blood pressure. In a 2012 study published in the journal Phytomedicine, for example, researchers from South Dakota found that Berberine was a safe and effective weight loss aid.
The study required subjects to take 500 milligrams of Berberine three times a day. After 12 weeks, the subjects not only lost an average of 5 pounds, the herb also reduced triglyceride levels by 23 percent and cholesterol by 12 percent.
Although the exact way in which berberine helps with weight loss is not exactly known, researchers think it may be related to the fact that it lowers lipid levels, and lower lipid levels prevent fat formation.
Berberine also improves insulin resistance, which can be a huge barrier for people trying to lose weight. Moreover, although comprehensive studies in humans have not been done, berberine has been proven to lower blood pressure in hypertensive rats.
It’s well known that high blood pressure can be reduced through weight loss, so it’s reasonable to think that Berberine’s fat burning abilities can also have a significant effect on human hypertension as well.
Fights diabetes and supports heart health
Beyond fat loss and hypertension, berberine has also been found to help fight diabetes and support heart health. An analysis of 14 clinical studies involving 1068 participants suggests that berberine supplementation together with lifestyle modifications considerably lowers blood sugar levels. Amazingly, researchers found that combination of berberine with lifestyle changes was even more effective than just taking traditional diabetes medicine, like Metformin, alone.
In terms of heart health, a study published in the Cardiovascular Drug Review showed that berberine may be useful in treating arrhythmias and/or heart failure. Additionally, based on its other properties, berberine can certainly lessen the risk of heart disease because it reduces blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure—which are are all risk factors for heart disease.
Of course, when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, there is no miracle pill or “quick fix” that can replace the beneficial effects of lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and stress reduction.
However, berberine is becoming increasingly accepted as a safe and effective herb that can provide substantial benefits and help along the way.
Note: An herb such as berberine may be natural, but nature’s remedies are potent. Always talk to a natural health professional, or health professional of your choice, before starting a new regimen with a product or treatment you are unfamiliar with.
-The Alternative Daily