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A compound called berberine is one of the most powerful natural supplements on Earth.
It has very impressive health benefits, and affects your body at the molecular level.
Berberine has been shown to lower blood sugar, cause weight loss and improve heart health, to name a few.
It is one of the few supplements shown to be as effective as a pharmaceutical drug.
This is a detailed review of berberine and its health effects.
What is Berberine?
Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be extracted from several different plants, including a group of shrubs called Berberis (1).
Technically, berberine belongs to a class of compounds called alkaloids. It has a yellow color and has often been used as a dye.
Berberine has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, where it was used to treat various ailments.
Now, modern science has confirmed that berberine has impressive benefits for several different health problems (2).
Bottom Line: Berberine is a compound that can be extracted from several different plants. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine.
How Does Berberine Work?
Berberine has now been tested in hundreds of different studies.
It has been shown to have powerful effects on many different biological systems (3).
After you ingest berberine, it gets taken in by the body and transported into the bloodstream. Then it travels into the body’s cells.
Inside the cells, berberine binds to several different “molecular targets” and changes their function (4). This is similar to how pharmaceutical drugs work.
I am not going to get into much detail here because the biological mechanisms of berberine are complicated and diverse.
This enzyme is sometimes referred to as a “metabolic master switch” (6).
Bottom Line: Berberine affects the body at the molecular level, and has a variety of functions inside cells. One of the main functions is activating an important enzyme called AMPK, which regulates metabolism.