Berberine is a chemical compound found in several plants such as barberry, Oregon grape, and goldenseal. Even though it is widely used across the world, it is popular with Chinese medicine. It is an alkaloid proven to be able to treat diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions. In this blog, we are going to focus on the effect of berberine on low carb diet. Let us get started.
How Berberine Works
According to diet consultants, the primary mechanism which berberine works through is the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) channel. AMPK is located in a majority of the cells of main body organs, including the kidneys, heart, liver, and brain. Scientists have proven that berberine is a metabolic activator. When AMPK is activated, it can oxidize glucose to form energy. Also, the AMPK pathway inhibits cell growth. This is why it is used widely for cancer treatment, anti-inflammation, and weight loss. Furthermore, berberine has an influence on genetic information of an individual; hence, it controls the chromosomal transcriptions, cell behavior, and other body interactions.
Since berberine is an alkaloid, it is quickly absorbed into the blood then stored in the liver in another form that makes it untraceable in the body, that’s why doctors initially argued that it is typically absorbed but slowly.
Impact of berberine
Blood sugar reduction
Medical research has proven that berberine can lessen blood sugar levels, hence preferred for people with diabetes. Also, it can lower hemoglobin A1C, blood sugar after eating, and improve fat metabolism. Berberine also reduces insulin impact in the body tissues. This is done by;
- Increasing the sensitivity of insulin
- Helps in sugar conversion hence assist in the utilization of glucose by the body cells
- Inhibits the conversion of glycogen to glucose to prevent excess sugar production in the liver.
- It lowers the amount of glucose absorbed into the blood system during digestion.
- Increases the number of alimentary bacteria that are essential in digestion.
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant stress agent.
Balance strike between oxygen levels and antioxidative agents is what makes humans live comfortably, tipping the balance to either side might result in unprecedented conditions. For instance, if insulin resistance is not dealt with, it is likely to tip the balance leading to severe body inflammations spreading as far as the brain and other delicate body tissues and organs. However, anti-inflammatory foods and drugs help in suppressing this condition. Additionally, since berberine contains anti-inflammatory and ant-oxidant effects, it combines with these drugs and food to diminish inflammation conditions.
As mentioned earlier, berberine is a cell growth inhibition substance. It is widely known that cancer occurs when body cells are triggered to proliferate abnormally, bearing this in mind, scientists have been able to link berberine with some cytotoxic activities; this is when cancer cells are targeted for destruction while leaving normal cells unharmed. This, however, is not the only way berberine works against cancer. Research has proven that by improving mitochondrial activity to produce more energy, berberine is fighting against malignant cells that end up being cancerous.
Inflammation of your blood vessels strain the passageway for blood, this may result in two probable outcomes, either the blood vessels will rupture, or your heart will strain and fail in the process. Either way, both of these outcomes are fatal. This is where berberine comes in. It helps in reducing tissue inflammation, thereby reducing the risks of getting a heart attack.
Reduction of cholesterol
It has been strongly supported by evidence that berberine can reduce the levels of cholesterol and fatty lipid droplets in the body. Repeatedly, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension occur almost simultaneously. Scientists argue that berberine is the first line of defense for these conditions, especially if you do not have the ability to afford the prescription pharmacy drugs.
Berberine could be an essential supplement in the weight loss program. By regulating insulin activity, converting white adipose to brown adipose and controlling leptin functions, helps in fat burning.
Although not confirmed, provisional study results reveal that berberine could potentially help reduce depression. It is discussed that by producing ant-oxidants stress and anti-inflammation inhabitants, it reduces the likelihood that depression is going to be severe.
Also, it may be able to increase the production of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, which aids in neuro-transmission. Research in cats shows that most of the subject rats which were treated with this berberine showed reduced signs of psychotic effect. It is potentially believed that this may be the case for human beings in the future to use this as a prescription drug for this condition.
Protection of the central nervous system
Some neurodegenerative diseases develop due to inflammation of the brain or spinal cord. In this discussion, it has been shown at length how berberine helps to minimize these cases. However, at advanced conditions, insulin resistance and inflammation may cause dementia and many other unpleasant nervous conditions.
Berberine helps protect the brain cells, thereby alleviating you from carrying that risk of attack.
Female hormonal imbalance
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that occurs in females and is associated with high levels of male hormones in a female. This may cause not only metabolic lapse but also infertility.
With PCOS, one may develop diabetes, high blood pressure, and also witness rampage of insulin levels alongside an increase in body mass. Metformin; the diabetes drug is sometimes prescribed for this condition. Berberine has shown to have the same properties as metformin, making it more efficient since it is cheap.
However, this requires a confirmation from the scientists who are still collecting data that points at this conclusion.
Bifidobacterium is an example of a useful bacteria which, its existence is boosted by the presence of berberine, which has a wide range of uses dating back to about 300years in ancient Asia. According to records, therapeutic values of this herb include relieving stomach upsets, gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, inflammation in the digestive tract, and metabolism-related disorders. Learn more about Berberine and weight loss here.
All scientific studies and meta-analyses point towards the fact that berberine is not only a bitter herb with more benefits than known. It is stressed that it is a solution to diabetes type 2, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and obesity.