Berberine is a natural chemical compound that has recently been in the spotlight for its health benefits. Berberine is not just restricted to one kind of plant but can be sourced from the roots, leaves, and even barks of barberry and Oregon grapes.

Since it is uncommon, consuming this compound through foods can be difficult. Hence, berberine supplements are more commonly used. 

People are unaware that this alkaline compound gets used as a dye for its deep yellow color. However, sources show that it has also been used in different Chinese treatments to cure illnesses. 

What Are Berberine Supplements Used For?

While patients with certain heart conditions mainly use berberine supplements, they also have other uses. Berberine supplements can effectively kill bacteria, regulate blood sugar levels, and control swelling in the body. 

Besides these uses, people frequently take berberine supplements to help with canker sores and diabetes and control cholesterol levels. Berberine supplements can also be used alongside medication to treat digestive tract ulcers. 

Berberine Supplements Benefits

Berberine supplements
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Berberine supplements can be added to the daily diet to improve numerous health conditions. Even if you don’t have any issues, this supplement will improve overall health. Let’s look at some of the benefits of berberine supplements. 

Lowering blood sugar levels 

According to studies, berberine reduces blood sugar levels during type-2 diabetes. It can do so through different methods, which include: 

  • Making insulin more effective by reducing insulin rejection. 
  • Increase breakdown of sugar in cells through glycolysis. 
  • Reduce the production of sugar in the liver. 

Studies prove that berberine supplements can be equally effective as diabetes medication [1] [2].

Aids in losing weight

If you’re searching for weight loss supplements, berberine supplements may be the best natural way to lose weight. After reviewing 12 studies, it was concluded that berberine supplements significantly reduced body weight, BMI, and belly fat. Berberine is also responsible for stopping the growth of fat cells at the beginning [3] [4].

Lowers cholesterol 

Berberine supplements are mainly used to control cholesterol and protect the body from heart disease. This natural compound can reduce overall cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and blood triglycerides. At the same time, it improves good cholesterol in the body [5].

Berberine targets cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight gain, leading to heart diseases. 

Berberine Supplements Side Effects

Berberine supplements
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Since berberine is a natural compound, there are minor side effects linked to its consumption. However, it should be noted that your body undergoes changes whenever you begin using a supplement, and there may be slight reactions. Berberine should also not be consumed with certain medications such as cyclosporine. 

If you consume the prescribed dosage, then there are no side effects that you need to worry about. However, people have complained about small issues in the digestive system, such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. If you already have certain health conditions, don’t consume any supplements without your doctor’s prescription. 

If you are pregnant or lactating, ask your doctor before using berberine supplements. There isn’t much research to show the side effects it may have in these conditions. 

Berberine Supplements Safety

berberine supplements
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Berberine supplements are highly safe to consume and have few side effects. However, it is better to choose a berberine supplement from a renowned company since there are still a small number of berberine supplements easily available in the market. 

The overall safety profile of this compound is excellent, making it safe for everyone. 

Berberine Supplements Dosage

The regular dosage of berberine ranges between 500mg to 1500mg per day. You should consume one 500mg tablet 30 minutes before each meal, 3 times daily. However, you should consult your doctor about the optimal dosage before taking berberine supplements. 

What Is The Most Effective Form Of Berberine?

Berberine supplements
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Berberine is available in two forms, berberine hydrochloride, and dihydroberberine. The former is easily available, but it loses points due to its low bioavailability. The latter, on the other hand, is easier to absorb and is immediately converted to berberine within the body. 

Due to this reason, the most effective form of berberine is dihydro-berberine. However, more research is required in this area. 

The Bottomline

Due to its safety, berberine is highly recommended as a dietary supplement for daily use. Moreover, the wide range of benefits it has to offer makes it alluring. Berberine supplements should be used only after a doctor’s consultation so you aren’t at risk of side effects. Further research on berberine and its supplements will strengthen its claim in the supplements industry. 


Berberine can be sourced from the roots, branches, and barks of different plants, which include Oregon grape, goldenseal, and barberry. This natural compound can be extracted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 
Consuming berberine supplements does not show results overnight or even after a few days. Research suggests that the effects of berberine can be seen within 3 months, or it may take longer than that too. You should take berberine supplements for a longer period to see results. 
The ideal time to take berberine is 30 minutes before having your meal. The average dosage of berberine varies between 2 to 3 times a day, with a 500mg capsule/tablet daily. However, this dosage may vary according to what health issue you’re trying to target. 

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

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  1. Xie, W., Su, F., Wang, G., Peng, Z., Xu, Y., Zhang, Y., Xu, N., Hou, K., Hu, Z., Chen, Y., & Chen, R. (2022). Glucose-lowering effect of berberine on type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in pharmacology, 13, 1015045.
  2. Och, A., Och, M., Nowak, R., Podgórska, D., & Podgórski, R. (2022). Berberine, a Herbal Metabolite in the Metabolic Syndrome: The Risk Factors, Course, and Consequences of the Disease. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(4), 1351.
  3. Asbaghi, O., Ghanbari, N., Shekari, M., Reiner, Ž., Amirani, E., Hallajzadeh, J., Mirsafaei, L., & Asemi, Z. (2020). The effect of berberine supplementation on obesity parameters, inflammation and liver function enzymes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 38, 43–49.
  4. Firouzi, S., Malekahmadi, M., Ghayour-Mobarhan, M., Ferns, G., & Rahimi, H. R. (2018). Barberry in the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome: possible mechanisms of action. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 11, 699–705.
  5. Shidfar, F., Ebrahimi, S. S., Hosseini, S., Heydari, I., Shidfar, S., & Hajhassani, G. (2012). The Effects of Berberis vulgaris Fruit Extract on Serum Lipoproteins, apoB, apoA-I, Homocysteine, Glycemic Control and Total Antioxidant Capacity in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research : IJPR, 11(2), 643–652.


  • Farah Jassawalla

    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

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


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