The Best Berberine Supplement You Can Buy
Edited and medically reviewed by ✔️ Team of BestInSupplements | Written by Mina Caudhari
Berberine supplements offer many health benefits, but which one is the best? Learn about the best berberine supplements on the market here, including their main uses and advantages.
Berberine has gained huge popularity in terms of being a natural remedy for treating diabetes. That is why berberine supplements are widely used by people looking for help with their sugar levels in the blood, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.
Health conditions such as high blood sugar levels, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure can lead to long-term health conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Alongside consuming a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, many individuals are interested in berberine as this plant compound may help improve sugar in the blood, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
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You can also benefit from these effects by eating foods containing berberine. One notable mention is the turmeric spice, as the levels of this substance in turmeric are high and the spice adds flavor and depth to your dish. Ultimately, turmeric brings both health benefits and taste to your meals.
Berberine can also be found in supplement form which is often extracted from natural sources. Consuming berberine in supplement form can help you understand the exact plant extract and the exact dosage of the active ingredient to help decide if the supplement is safe for you to take.
Here You Will Discover More About:
- 1 What Is Berberine?
- 2 Health Benefits Of Berberine
- 3 Berberine Uses
- 4 Berberine vs Metformin
- 5 Main Ingredients Of A Berberine Supplement
- 6 Best Berberine Supplements On The Market
- 7 Berberine Dosage: How Much Berberine To Take
- 8 When To Take Berberine?
- 9 Side Effects Of Berberine
- 10 Berberine Drug Interactions
- 11 Berberine Reviews
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Berberine?
Berberine is a chemical that is naturally found in many herbs and plants such as European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, greater celandine, Oregon grape, Phellodendron, and tree turmeric. It has recently gained traction as a supplement due to potential health benefits but has been a mainstay of Chinese traditional medicine for many years.
The recent popularity of this compound is understandable as research has suggested that it can improve blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure levels 1. Most research indicates that berberine supplements are generally safe with a low risk of toxicity. However, it is important to discuss with your health care provider as the supplement can interact with the medications you are taking.
Health Benefits Of Berberine
Eating organic berberine and foods containing this compound can have health benefits. For example, berberine may help reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels 2. It can reduce cholesterol levels by limiting the absorption of cholesterol from foods and increasing the removal of cholesterol from the body.
Similarly, it may help improve blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone that lets your body process sugars and proteins, and improving insulin sensitivity is associated with a healthy weight.
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Berberine may also improve pressure in blood levels for those with high pressure. But, improvements have only been shown for those taking this component alongside their blood pressure medications.
Berberine is most commonly used to complement traditional therapies for high levels of sugar in the blood, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It may also be beneficial for those living with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) as these individuals often have high sugar and high cholesterol levels.
There is emerging evidence that berberine could be used as a treatment for various conditions, including diarrhea, burns, infections, and even weight loss. However, we don’t yet have enough evidence to recommend using it for these conditions.
Berberine vs Metformin
Metformin is a common drug used to lower blood sugar for those living with type 2 diabetes. Metformin and berberine have been found to have similar effects on your sugar in blood levels.
When combined with healthy lifestyle interventions, such as eating a healthy diet and regular exercise, both metformin and berberine can improve sugar levels by increasing the uptake of sugar by your cells through improved insulin sensitivity, according to study 3.
Main Ingredients Of A Berberine Supplement
Have you ever asked yourself what are the main ingredients of a berberine supplement? Let's take a look at them.
Quercetin And Gynostemma
If you are considering taking a berberine supplement, you are most likely to find supplements that contain this substance with other ingredients such as quercetin and gynostemma.
Quercetin is a phytochemical found in common foods like kale, red onions, and several other vegetables and fruits. It has strong antioxidant properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Gynostemma, another common ingredient found in the best berberine supplements, is a herb frequently used in Chinese traditional medicine due to its health benefits which are similar to berberine.
In its plant form, berberine is poorly absorbed by the human body. In supplement form, this component is found in the form of berberine hydrochloride. Hydrochloride or HCl is simply a type of salt that helps to improve the amount of berberine that is absorbed into the bloodstream.
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Best Berberine Supplements On The Market
While this component can have a positive effect on your health, you should be careful when buying some of the best berberine supplements as not all of them are as pure and potent as they are advertised to be. The best berberine supplements on the market are mentioned below:
Thorne Research Berberine
Starting this list of the best berberine supplements, we find Thorne Research’s Berberine Supplement, which contains 85 percent berberine concentrate in the form of HCl, a more bioavailable form of the supplement.
Each capsule contains 500 mg of this component, and these capsules are vegetarian and GMO-free, which can appeal to those following these diets.
Dr. Whitaker Berberine
Dr. Whitaker Berberine supplements are made of clinical-grade berberine HCl. The HCl form is more easily absorbed by the body. Each capsule of Dr. Whitaker Berberine supplement contains 500 mg of berberine HCL. Their supplement is also gluten-free which is helpful if you are living with celiac disease or following a gluten-free diet.
Their website suggests that the supplement can promote healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range, even after eating a meal or sugary foods. The supplement may also improve blood cholesterol levels while improving insulin sensitivity.
Sunergetic Premium Berberine Supplement
Sunergetic’s Premium Berberine comes from berberis aristata and contains 600 mg of berberine HCl, a higher dose compared to other brands. The berberine is also found in the form of HCl, which is easily absorbed by the body.
As we can see on their website, Sunergetic suggests that the supplement can help support healthy blood sugar levels already within normal range and can help support cardiovascular disease and overall wellness. The supplement is vegetarian and is made without yeast, corn, salt, preservatives, dairy, or soy which can appeal to those who are avoiding these ingredients.
Solaray Berberine Advanced Formula
Solaray’s Advanced Formula Berberine Root Extract is derived from natural sources of berberine, Indian barberry, and Oregon grape. Each capsule has approximately 500mg of this component, with 250mg from barberry root and 285 mg from Oregon grape extract.
Their website suggests that the supplement can help support AMPK activation, which in turn improves blood sugar and fat metabolism. Solaray’s Advanced Formula Berberine Extract is also vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
Integrative Therapeutics Berberine Complex
The Integrative Therapeutics Berberine Complex supplement contains berberine extracted from three sources in different dosages, namely 400mg barberry root extract, 400mg Oregon grape root, and stem extract, and 100mg Goldenseal root. Overall, each capsule contains around 900mg of berberine.
Integrative Therapeutics Berberine supplement is a great form of intestinal support, which when combined with proper diet and exercise can really improve your gut health. Moreover, this supplement promotes a balance of bacteria and general, gut flora which only adds to the gut benefits of this complex.
Swanson Premium Berberine
The Swanson Premium Berberine Supplement is one of the only supplements on the market that has a low berberine dosage with 400mg per capsule. However, the supplement still has a high potency as the supplement is made with 97 percent berberine concentrate. This makes it highly potent despite its low dosage.
Derived from Indian Barberry root, Swanson’s best berberine supplement is an affordable choice for those looking to test out the supplement.
Amazing Formulas Berberine Plus
The Amazing Formulas Berberine Plus dietary supplement contains a 500mg dose per capsule. The supplement may support glucose and fat metabolism in your body, helping reduce the high level of blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Amazing Formulas’ berberine supplement is manufactured in the US and is also tested by third parties.
Bulksupplements Pure Berberine HCL Powder
Pure Berberine HCl Powder is manufactured by Bulksupplements and sold in 250g, 500g, and 1000g packaging. This supplement contains pure berberine only and is as potent a supplement as one can get.
This Berberine HCL Powder by Bulksupplements provides your body with all the benefits of this component mentioned above.
Berberine Dosage: How Much Berberine To Take
Before taking berberine, make sure you speak to your health care provider as the amount of this component you should take depends on the different medications you take as well as your health conditions. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not take berberine supplements.
According to the National Institutes of Health 4, adults may dose berberine based on the presence of different health conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes: 0.9-1.5 grams per day.
- High LDL cholesterol: 0.6-1.5 grams per day.
- High blood pressure: 0.9 grams per day.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: 1.5 grams per day.
It is recommended that you don’t take the supplement for more than three months. If you want to supplement for longer than this, speak to your provider of health care.
It is also recommended to take this supplement in divided doses. For example, if one capsule contains 500 mg of berberine and you need to take 1.5 grams, you can take three 500 mg capsules spaced several hours apart each day.
When To Take Berberine?
You can speak to your health care expert about taking berberine if you live with type 2 diabetes, high LDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
Side Effects Of Berberine
While berberine taken in normal amounts is generally considered safe, the supplement may cause mild stomach and gastrointestinal discomforts like diarrhea, constipation, and stomach aches.
It is always important to buy your supplements from trusted sources as those mentioned above to reduce the risk of taking a contaminated or tainted berberine supplement.
Berberine Drug Interactions
Taking any form of supplements when taking prescribed medication without consulting your health care provider can cause more harm than good. This is because these supplements can interact with the medications and produce unwanted side effects and potential harm. Even the best berberine supplements are no exception to this.
People taking immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine should completely avoid taking berberine supplements as it may cause toxicity to cyclosporine.
Those taking antidiabetic medications (metformin, insulin, glyburide, etc.) may risk dropping their sugar levels too low if they consume berberine supplements. This is otherwise known as hypoglycemia and can be extremely dangerous.
Similarly, those taking high-blood pressure medications (captopril, losartan, amlodipine) may risk decreasing their blood pressure to unsafe levels. The amount of pressure in blood medication may also build up in the body and worsen side effects.
Berberine may also interact with other drugs, herbs, and supplements. You should be cautious and always speak to your health care provider.
Overall, supplementing with berberine alongside lifestyle interventions like healthy eating and regular exercise may improve blood sugar levels, reduce blood cholesterol and normalize the levels of pressure in the blood.
Based on quality and customer reviews, the aforementioned supplements are the best brands on the market, receiving an average of 4.4 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Yin, J., Xing, H., & Ye, J. (2008). Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 57(5), 712–717. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/#:~:text=Compared%20with%20metformin%2C%20berberine%20exhibited,activity%20is%20better%20than%20metformin.)
- Xia, X., Yan, J., Shen, Y., Tang, K., Yin, J., Zhang, Y., Yang, D., Liang, H., Ye, J., & Weng, J. (2011). Berberine improves glucose metabolism in diabetic rats by inhibiting of hepatic gluconeogenesis. PloS one, 6(2), e16556. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21304897/)
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