Berberine is a bioactive compound usually extracted from the shrubs of the genus Berberis, commonly known as barberries. Taken as a supplement, berberine has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve biomarkers of type 2 diabetes. In fact, berberine may be as strong as prescription drugs used for the same purpose.
Berberine has the ability to switch a metabolic enzyme called AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) on. This enzyme is involved in controlling the use of glucose and fatty acids for energy. Berberine’s mechanism of action therefore helps regulate fat and sugar levels in the body.
Benefits Of Berberine
In short, berberine improves every parameter associated with insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, cells in the pancreas develop resistance to increasing blood glucose levels by refusing to respond to insulin — an important hormone for reducing glucose levels.
A systematic review found that berberine strongly decreases blood glucose, and also causes a small but consistent decrease in insulin levels. Similarly, a study found that berberine increases insulin sensitivity, reducing insulin resistance.
That same review found that berberine also lowers hba1c, or glycated hemoglobin — a marker of excessive blood sugar levels.
If you have consistent high blood glucose levels, over time this can damage your health, including causing peripheral neuropathy and severe dehydration, so berberine’s ability to improve glucose metabolism is very promising.
Berberine also lowers total cholesterol and restores a healthy triglyceride balance by decreasing LDLs and slightly increasing HDL cholesterol. This reduces the risk of cholesterol building up in your arteries and decreases the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease.
All in all, berberine is comparable in effectiveness to metformin and glibenclamide, the first-line prescription drugs for fighting type 2 diabetes. Based on studies, the optimal dosage of berberine seems to be 500 mg, taken 2-4 times a day before each meal.
Where To Buy Berberine
Berberine is widely available as an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement, so there is no need to look further than Amazon.
There are many brands selling berberine though, so it’s important to know how to find the best berberine product. To know if they are a reputable brand, look out for certificates of analysis, good reviews and clear sourcing.
Our 5 Picks For The Best Berberine Supplement
Best Berberine Supplement
Thorne Research berberine capsules provide 1g of berberine per serving. Thorne Research combines berberine with HCl — a potent way of taking berberine. They extract their berberine from Indian barberry root (a species of Berberis) which then undergoes four rounds of testing to ensure that you’re receiving a clean product.
After taking Thorne Research berberine, reviewers found that their blood glucose and cholesterol levels improved and argue that this is the best berberine on the market.
Best Berberine For Weight Loss
WellBetX offers a cheaper option for berberine capsules. Each serving provides 1g of third-party tested berberine HCl and their capsules are vegetarian-friendly. However, these capsules contain a small amount of magnesium stearate which may have a laxative effect if consumed in large quantities.
Like Thorne Research berberine, many positive reviews state that WellBetX berberine improved both blood glucose and fat markers and is effective enough to replace their prescribed drug, Metformin.
Best Berberine Stack
If you’re looking for a clinically tested berberine supplement, look no further. Dr Whitaker’s Berberine GlucoGold supplement was deemed highly effective at improving the pancreatic cell response to blood sugar levels in a clinical study.
In addition to 1.5g of berberine, it also includes cinnamon and chromium. Alongside berberine, cinnamon ensures normal insulin sensitivity while chromium improves bioavailability. Reviewers love it and so do we.
Best Gut-Friendly Berberine
Solaray berberine supplements contain 500mg of berberine powder per capsule. Their capsules are vegetarian-friendly and don’t contain magnesium stearate — an issue with other berberine capsules. Solaray only recommends taking one capsule daily but you can increase this serving if the effect isn’t strong enough.
Even though Solaray doesn’t provide a certificate of analysis, they promise that their capsules are lab-verified, and have the reputation to back that up.
Best Berberine For Immune Function
If you’re looking for an affordable berberine supplement, Amazing Formulas has you sorted. Each capsule provides 1g of Berberine HCl enclosed in a gelatin capsule – these capsules are not vegetarian-friendly and contain the laxative, magnesium stearate. Their capsules are produced following good manufacturing practices which are then third party tested to ensure a high-quality product.
Reviewers love the large selection of supplement packs available and have experienced large improvements in blood markers for glucose and fat levels.
Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to email@example.com.