Berberine is normally extracted from berberis shrubs but can also be extracted from other plants. It’s a bioactive compound belonging to a category called alkaloids. Berberine has been used as a dye for its yellow color, with Chinese traditional medicine using it for centuries. Now science has confirmed that this compound has multiple health benefits. 

Goji berries are small red berries packed with antioxidants and have a nice flavor. You can find them in powdered or dried form. These are also known as wolfberries. Due to their popularity, supplements with goji berries are also quite common in the market. 

Let’s explore the benefits and side effects of berberine vs. goji berry in this article!

Is Berberine The Same As Goji Berries?

Berberine and goji berries are two different things. While berberine is a compound extracted from certain shrubs, goji berries are red berries native to Asia. While both are highly beneficial for health, they’re completely different from each other. However, you can easily find berberine and goji berry supplements in the market. 

Do Goji Berries Have Berberine?

Goji berries are packed with vitamins and essential minerals, but they do not contain berberine. Berberine is a compound extracted from shrubs, but it is not found in goji berries. 

Berberine vs. Goji Berry Benefits

Berberine as a compound has many health benefits and can be used to treat various problems. 

1. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels 

With an increase in the rate of type-2 diabetes, berberine has proven to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels. It is known to be as effective as another glucose-controlling drug called metformin. Berberine decreases insulin resistance, increases the breakdown of sugar, and decreases glucose production in the liver.

According to a study, 1 gram of berberine lowered fasting blood sugar levels by 20%. 

Science and various studies prove that berberine can control blood sugar levels like diabetic medicines [1].

2. Helps In Losing Weight 

Two studies show berberine as an effective weight loss supplement. 500mg berberine taken a day thrice showed at least 5 pounds of average weight loss in 12 weeks, along with a 3.6% of fat loss. Weight loss could be due to improved fat-regulating hormones like insulin, adiponectin, and leptin. Berberine also hinders the growth of fat cells at a molecular level [2].

Lowers Cholesterol 

Berberine can reduce cholesterol in the body, decreasing the risk of heart disease. It lowers LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol. Berberine lowers apolipoprotein B and PCSK9 (an enzyme), which lowers LDL cholesterol in the blood. 

Goji berries are chock full of antioxidants and have multiple health benefits for the body. 

3. Improves Immunity 

Goji berries are also frequently used to promote immunity naturally. A 30-day study of 60 elder people showed that drinking goji berry juice improved immunity and made them feel better overall. Animal studies have also shown similar findings. [3].

4. Promotes Eye Health 

Research shows that goji berries may improve eye health and protect eyes from macular degeneration, which causes vision loss. A study based on 114 people with early macular degeneration showed that daily intake of goji berries improved the density of the macular pigment. This protected them from macular degeneration. 

Goji berries also contain the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which protects our lenses from retina damage. 

Berberine vs. Goji Berry Side Effects

While berberine and goji berries are natural and have many health benefits, taking a large intake may be harmful. Berberine dosage ranges between 900mg and 1500mg. Normal supplements of 500mg are usually taken thrice a day. However, if you have any preexisting health conditions, then it’s essential to ask your doctor before using berberine. 

Main side effects include cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, and stomach ache. Most importantly, you need to ask your doctor if you have diabetes and are already taking medication for diabetes. [4]

While you can add goji berries to your regular diet, some people may face severe allergic reactions, especially if they’re allergic to other fruits. Goji berries may also react with certain medications, such as those used for blood thinning and controlling blood pressure. If you are expecting, you shouldn’t consume goji berries since they contain betaine, which harms fetal health. 

Goji berry dosage depends on the form they’re consumed in. 150g of fresh goji berries, 10-30g of dried goji berries, 30ml of high-quality goji berry juice twice a day, or 2500mg of goji berry supplements can be used. However, you need to ask your doctor before using goji berries as a part of your diet, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking certain medications. [5]

Berberine vs. Goji Berry Supplements

Berberine has been approved as a pharmaceutical drug for its various benefits, including helping in weight loss, lowering blood sugar, and improving heart health. Different studies use different dosages of berberine in their supplements ranging between 900mg and 1500mg.

Typically supplements are 500mg, and 3 capsules need to be taken thrice a day, but you should consult your doctor about the dosage you should take, depending on your health. Berberine has a lengthy half-life, so the supplement intake is divided throughout the day to achieve stable blood levels. 

Goji berry supplements are also easily available in the market. Usually, these capsules have a dosage of 1000mg, but this can vary from company to company. People use dried or powdered forms of goji berry in their foods, but supplements have the same benefits. 

Bottomline: Berberine vs. Goji Berry

Berberine and goji berries are extremely healthy and should be added to the diet for their multiple benefits. However, you must remember that everything should be consumed within a limit, especially if you have medical conditions or are using certain medications. While these are natural sources of minerals and antioxidants, do ask your doctor before you start using them. 

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Lan, J., Zhao, Y., Dong, F., Yan, Z., Zheng, W., Fan, J., & Sun, G. (2015). Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 161, 69–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.09.049
  • Zhou, L. B., Chen, M. D., Wang, X., Song, H. D., Yang, Y., Tang, J. F., Li, F. Y., Xu, M. Y., & Chen, J. L. (2003). Zhonghua yi xue za zhi, 83(4), 338–340.
  • Bo, R., Sun, Y., Zhou, S., Ou, N., Gu, P., Liu, Z., Hu, Y., Liu, J., & Wang, D. (2017). Simple nanoliposomes encapsulating Lycium barbarum polysaccharides as adjuvants improve humoral and cellular immunity in mice. International journal of nanomedicine, 12, 6289–6301. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S136820
  • 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://doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2008.01.013
  • Amagase, H., Sun, B., & Nance, D. M. (2009). Immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum fruit juice in Chinese older healthy human subjects. Journal of medicinal food, 12(5), 1159–1165. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2008.0300 

Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn