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Berberine, the anti-inflammatory polyphenol

Berberin, das entzündungshemmende Polyphenol

Deep inside your body, countless cellular factories are doing their amazing work. Some systems are engaged in production, making compounds such as hormones, while others are in the delivery business, transporting energy to your organs. Still others are in the cleaning business and are responsible for the process of autophagy, which cleanses and repairs cells.

One of the body's most important systems is that of inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of many health problems, which is related to the fact that chronic inflammation is a kind of cellular firefight that damages the surrounding systems and tissues.

Acute inflammation, on the other hand, is a good thing, as it is the signal that your immune system is fighting a threat to your body. Only when inflammation no longer calms down and does not subside do the problems begin.

One of our health goals should be to keep inflammation under control. This can be done in a variety of ways, including eating healthy and anti-inflammatory foods. Another way to calm inflammation is to use supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties. One of the most effective and promising of these is berberine.

What is berberine?

Berberine is a polyphenol that stands out for its exceptionally effective effects. Polyphenols such as berberine are ring-shaped chemical structures that act as antioxidants and are found in plant-based foods. All phenols have the ability to reduce internal inflammation. In addition to its pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, berberine also has the ability to treat metabolic disorders. Regardless of the cause of inflammation, berberine can help to alleviate the problem.

Berberine, which is extracted from barberry and other plants, is often used to treat insulin resistance, which occurs when the body's own insulin can no longer keep up with the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Berberine has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. As a plant-based alkaloid, berberine represents a powerhouse of healing properties, ranging from relieving digestive discomfort to promoting cardiovascular health and soothing inflammation.

This herbal alternative helps to combat metabolic ailments and reduce weight via the AMPK compound, which stimulates thermogenesis - a process responsible for burning more fat.

Berberine is also known to positively influence the health of gut flora, which can alleviate digestive problems, reduce bloating and promote a healthier lifestyle (1, 2). A healthier gut flora not only has a positive effect on digestion, but also has numerous positive effects on general health.

Studies have also shown that berberine may have a positive effect on the body's ability to burn calories while preventing the body from building up fat. In addition, berberine may help to alleviate insulin resistance, thereby preventing cravings and hunger pangs.

Berberine and inflammation

Inflammatory responses are our body's protective line of defense. When something causes damage or irritation, the immune system reacts and fights off the sources of this damage (3).

We can see this in the fight against type 2 diabetes, for example, where berberine helps to reduce inflammation, control blood sugar levels and stimulate weight loss (4) . Type 2 diabetes is triggered by the body's inability to adequately utilize the insulin it produces. This can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels and obesity. Weight gain associated with type 2 diabetes results in an increased tendency for fat cells to build up around the organs in the abdomen, leading to inflammation in the affected areas.

In the case of existing insulin resistance, the body produces increased amounts of so-called pro-inflammatory cytokines and these levels rise with increasing duration and severity of insulin resistance, which not only promotes weight gain but also leads to chronic inflammation.

This chronic inflammation can - not only in the case of diabetes - develop into a vicious circle that results in ever stronger inflammatory reactions (5, 6, 7, 8). But this is where berberine can help. Thanks to its pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, it is able to alleviate chronic inflammation.

Since chronic inflammation is a driving force in many chronic diseases, including heart disease and numerous degenerative diseases, berberine can reduce the risk of these diseases and have a positive effect on overall health.

Of course, the anti-inflammatory effects of berberine are also of great interest to athletes who train hard. Intensive training sessions can cause inflammation, which prolongs the regeneration process after training. Conversely, this means that berberine could help to speed up recovery after training, which means that hard-training athletes are not only ready for the next intensive training session more quickly, but also that the risk of training-related chronic overloading of the muscles and musculoskeletal system is reduced.

However, the benefits for athletes are not just limited to faster and better regeneration. Berberine can also help to reduce inflammation in the joints in cases of joint pain caused by overloading or signs of joint wear and tear, which can both relieve joint pain and improve the mobility of the affected joints.

Berberine's ability to fight inflammation has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne. A study carried out in Iran, in which various natural acne remedies were examined, came to the conclusion that berberine in the form of a barberry extract was able to significantly alleviate existing acne in test subjects between the ages of 12 and 17.

The natural anti-inflammatory properties of berberine acted as an anti-acne formula by reducing inflammation as well as having antibacterial and lipid-reducing effects on the sebaceous glands (4).

How berberine should be taken

In practice, taking 500 mg of berberine twice a day with a meal has been shown to be effective.


In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects described here, berberine has so many other potential health benefits that some experts consider it a basic supplement. Since chronic inflammation can have devastating effects on this health over time, berberine could help you live a healthier and better life. And when you factor in the additional blood sugar stabilizing properties and metabolic stimulation, there's really nothing to gain from berberine.



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