Are there any side effects of berberine?

Are there any side effects of berberine?

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Berberine, is a natural compound with a rich history as a medicinal product. It has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential health benefits. From regulating blood sugar levels to aiding in weight management, berberine has been touted as a versatile supplement. However, as with any substance, questions regarding its safety and potential side effects arise. Let’s try to understand everything you need to know about Berberine. 

What is Berberine?

It is a type of nitrogen-containing chemical found in plants and is called an alkaloid. Berberine is not a brand-new substance, even if it is not as well-known as caffeine. Used for the treatment of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses, it has been a mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for over 400 years.

Multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory diseases, may benefit from it, according to the research. People in the West are now more interested in berberine because it can help control blood sugar, turn on the longevity pathway AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase), which is the metabolism’s “master switch,” lower body fat, and even fight cancer. Because of all these benefits, berberine is a very good medicine to help slow down aging and make people live longer. 

How Does Berberine Work?

Once ingested, berberine binds to various molecules within the body’s cells. In contrast to other treatments, berberine affects several diseases through its interactions with numerous targets. Specifically, “Berberine works at a cellular level and changes how cells work by turning things off and on,” as Dr. Bradley puts it. 

It’s crucial to emphasize that berberine, like any supplement, shouldn’t substitute medical care but that “its basic interactions involve so many different processes in the body like increasing anti aging particles.” Before beginning berberine or any other supplement, Dr. Bradley suggests consulting a healthcare physician.

Side effects of Berberine

Berberine can negatively affect digestion. The following side effects have been seen in animal trials, although they vary with species, dosage, and duration of use: sickness and vomiting with diarrhea, stomach ulcers, and muscular tremors. Enlargement of the liver and/or kidneys decreases the number of immune system cells. 

It is important to consult a medical professional before using berberine or any other supplement, as they may not be appropriate for everyone. Anyone who experiences an adverse reaction to an herbal product should immediately discontinue use. Because it contains berberine, the NCCIH Trusted Source warns against using Berberine while pregnant or nursing. Giving Berberine to a newborn, they say, raises the risk of kernicterus and may cause or exacerbate jaundice. Taking Berberine may increase the risk of hypoglycemia if you are already taking prescription drugs to lower your blood sugar. 

Benefits of taking Berberine

The Department of Biochemistry at Allahabad University (AU) has found that a chemical called “berberine” can help slow down the aging process. The biochemistry department’s Professor SI Rizvi led the researchers who published the results of their study in the prestigious German research journal Z Naturforsch. The results show that this molecule could be used as a new way to fight aging. Prof. Rizvi went on to say that berberine has a big effect on how sodium and calcium move through cell membranes. 

Actually, everyone knows that as we age, our bodies become less able to move ions across cell walls. Prof. Rizvi says that the finding that berberine can reverse the changes that come with getting older in how sodium and calcium move through membranes is important and opens up new study directions. It’s Professor Rizvi’s hope that this study will make a big contribution to the area of anti-aging research. Dr. Bradley says that berberine can help with diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol levels. “Berberine can have a beneficial effect on those conditions when combined with lifestyle changes like weight loss.” 

Is berberine safe?

Products containing berberine should not be used without first consulting a physician. According to the NCCIH, it has  some potential dangers. The diabetes drug metformin could be negatively affected by the use of berberine. When taken in excess or by someone who is sensitive, negative reactions can occur. The safety of Berberine and other berberine products for extended usage is not supported by the available scientific evidence. They are taking berberine while pregnant or nursing may be harmful to the developing baby. For more information about anti-aging diets and longevity-related information, you can try the Longevity AI platform 


When used in conjunction with more conventional therapies, Berberine may prove most effective. Berberine is generally harmless; however, it may have interactions with other vitamins and drugs. Therefore, if you have any preexisting medical conditions or are taking any medications, it is essential to discuss the use of berberine with your doctor before beginning treatment. 


Does berberine have negative effects?

In a healthy person, digestive side effects may include diarrhea, constipation, gas, and stomach distress. There is concern that berberine, which crosses the placenta, could harm an unborn child. 

Who should avoid berberine?

Berberine shouldn’t be taken by anybody under the age of 18, nor by women who are pregnant or nursing. Berberine should not be used by adults with type 2 diabetes who are already taking diabetes medication without first consulting with their doctor.

What happens when you start taking berberine?

Berberine alters the function of enzymes and other cellular components by binding to them. Those who suffer from high cholesterol may benefit from taking berberine supplements daily because it has been shown to reduce total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides. 

Is berberine safe to take daily?

Berberine might be safe for most individuals to use orally. Daily doses as high as 1.5 grams for 6 months can be used without any issues. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, and stomach distress are common adverse reactions. 

Is berberine safe for kidneys?

Berberine is a naturally occurring medication with limited oral bioavailability. It was found to greatly improve the symptoms of chronic kidney disease by changing the makeup of the gut microbiota and stopping the development of uremic toxins such as p-cresol that are produced in the gut. 

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