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Berberine: Promoting longevity by boosting the AMPK pathway

Article
June 26, 2022
By
Ehab Naim, MBA.

This compound has been found to possess several properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity

Berberine: Promoting longevity by boosting the AMPK pathway

Compound description

Berberine is a bioactive compound derived from plant sources and belongs to a class of chemicals called alkaloids (compounds containing nitrogen in their structure) (1). This compound has been found to possess several properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity (1, 2).

 

Properties

The adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an enzymatic pathway implicated in many roles related to metabolism, homeostasis, stress resistance, cell survival, autophagy, and other key regulatory processes that are essential for longevity (1, 3). With aging, the efficiency and responsiveness of the AMPK pathway are reduced, leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, senescence, and disrupted apoptosis (3). Therefore, the activation of the said pathway could potentially play a role in slowing down the aging process. Moreover, AMPK activation has been suggested to improve tissue repair, maintain a healthy cardiac rhythm, and regulate lipid and glucose levels, among other functions (1). Berberine is a strong AMPK activator.

 

Use as a supplement

The literature has highlighted the importance of berberine in improving cardiovascular health. In this context, clinical results obtained from testing berberine on human subjects suffering from heart failure showed that cardiac function improved when combined with conventional treatment (2, 4). Moreover, berberine was found to play a key role in lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) cholesterol, a key contributor to many cardiovascular diseases (2). This effect was confirmed in clinical studies on humans with mild hyperlipidemia, where berberine was found to lower LDL, decrease triglycerides, and increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol) (5, 6). Other berberine effects mentioned in the literature include antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, and antiatherosclerosis properties. 

The value of berberine in lowering glucose has also been explored. Clinical studies evaluating the glucose-lowering effect of the bioactive molecule have demonstrated encouraging results (5). The said effect was shown in newly diagnosed patients and those already receiving hypoglycemic agents, highlighting the value of berberine in both patient profiles (5, 7).

Regarding the effect on the gastrointestinal tract, berberine has been found to have an antidiarrheal effect by decreasing smooth muscle contraction, reducing intestinal fluid accumulation, and inhibiting inflammation (5). These results were confirmed in diarrhea cases due to infection and irritable bowel syndrome (a condition that affects the digestive tract, causing cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation). Moreover, preclinical studies have shown that it positively influences the gut microbiome (8).

Berberine doses used in clinical studies ranged from 2 mg/day to 3000 mg/day, giving a wide dosing margin (5). In our Marketplace under the vendor DoNotAge, you can find berberine as capsules (Pure Berberine). Pure Berberine provides the body with 1000mg of the bioactive molecule per serving (serving is two capsules). This dose is sufficient to boost the AMPK pathway, improve glucose levels, reduce cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Side effects

The literature indicates that side effects encountered with berberine usage include allergic reactions, jaundice, distention, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, and stomach pain (1, 5). Other side effects were associated with high doses of the bioactive molecule. Examples include arterial hypotension, dyspnea, cardiac damage, flu-like symptoms, and gastric lesions. It is recommended to use this supplement only after consulting a licensed healthcare professional, like a physician or pharmacist.

 

 

References

1.            Prajwala B, Raghu N, Gopenath TS, Shanmukhappa B, Karthikeyan M, Ashok G, et al. Berberine and its pharmacology potential: a review. Eur J Biomed. 2020;7(5):115-23.

2.            Neag MA, Mocan A, Echeverría J, Pop RM, Bocsan CI, Crişan G, et al. Berberine: Botanical Occurrence, Traditional Uses, Extraction Methods, and Relevance in Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Hepatic, and Renal Disorders. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2018;9:557-.

3.            Stancu AL. AMPK activation can delay aging. Discoveries (Craiova, Romania). 2015;3(4):e53-e.

4.            Zeng XH, Zeng XJ, Li YY. Efficacy and safety of berberine for congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Am J Cardiol. 2003;92(2):173-6.

5.            Imenshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. Berberine and barberry (Berberis vulgaris): A clinical review. Phytother Res. 2019;33(3):504-23.

6.            Dong H, Zhao Y, Zhao L, Lu F. The effects of berberine on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Planta Med. 2013;79(6):437-46.

7.            Rao A. Efficacy of berberine hydrochloride on biochemical parameters in Indian type 2 diabetic patients. Endocrine Practice. 2017;23(1):18A.

8.            Wolf PG, Devendran S, Doden HL, Ly LK, Moore T, Takei H, et al. Berberine alters gut microbial function through modulation of bile acids. BMC Microbiology. 2021;21(1):24.

 

Berberine: Promoting longevity by boosting the AMPK pathway

Compound description

Berberine is a bioactive compound derived from plant sources and belongs to a class of chemicals called alkaloids (compounds containing nitrogen in their structure) (1). This compound has been found to possess several properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity (1, 2).

 

Properties

The adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an enzymatic pathway implicated in many roles related to metabolism, homeostasis, stress resistance, cell survival, autophagy, and other key regulatory processes that are essential for longevity (1, 3). With aging, the efficiency and responsiveness of the AMPK pathway are reduced, leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, senescence, and disrupted apoptosis (3). Therefore, the activation of the said pathway could potentially play a role in slowing down the aging process. Moreover, AMPK activation has been suggested to improve tissue repair, maintain a healthy cardiac rhythm, and regulate lipid and glucose levels, among other functions (1). Berberine is a strong AMPK activator.

 

Use as a supplement

The literature has highlighted the importance of berberine in improving cardiovascular health. In this context, clinical results obtained from testing berberine on human subjects suffering from heart failure showed that cardiac function improved when combined with conventional treatment (2, 4). Moreover, berberine was found to play a key role in lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) cholesterol, a key contributor to many cardiovascular diseases (2). This effect was confirmed in clinical studies on humans with mild hyperlipidemia, where berberine was found to lower LDL, decrease triglycerides, and increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol) (5, 6). Other berberine effects mentioned in the literature include antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, and antiatherosclerosis properties. 

The value of berberine in lowering glucose has also been explored. Clinical studies evaluating the glucose-lowering effect of the bioactive molecule have demonstrated encouraging results (5). The said effect was shown in newly diagnosed patients and those already receiving hypoglycemic agents, highlighting the value of berberine in both patient profiles (5, 7).

Regarding the effect on the gastrointestinal tract, berberine has been found to have an antidiarrheal effect by decreasing smooth muscle contraction, reducing intestinal fluid accumulation, and inhibiting inflammation (5). These results were confirmed in diarrhea cases due to infection and irritable bowel syndrome (a condition that affects the digestive tract, causing cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation). Moreover, preclinical studies have shown that it positively influences the gut microbiome (8).

Berberine doses used in clinical studies ranged from 2 mg/day to 3000 mg/day, giving a wide dosing margin (5). In our Marketplace under the vendor DoNotAge, you can find berberine as capsules (Pure Berberine). Pure Berberine provides the body with 1000mg of the bioactive molecule per serving (serving is two capsules). This dose is sufficient to boost the AMPK pathway, improve glucose levels, reduce cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Side effects

The literature indicates that side effects encountered with berberine usage include allergic reactions, jaundice, distention, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, and stomach pain (1, 5). Other side effects were associated with high doses of the bioactive molecule. Examples include arterial hypotension, dyspnea, cardiac damage, flu-like symptoms, and gastric lesions. It is recommended to use this supplement only after consulting a licensed healthcare professional, like a physician or pharmacist.

 

 

References

1.            Prajwala B, Raghu N, Gopenath TS, Shanmukhappa B, Karthikeyan M, Ashok G, et al. Berberine and its pharmacology potential: a review. Eur J Biomed. 2020;7(5):115-23.

2.            Neag MA, Mocan A, Echeverría J, Pop RM, Bocsan CI, Crişan G, et al. Berberine: Botanical Occurrence, Traditional Uses, Extraction Methods, and Relevance in Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Hepatic, and Renal Disorders. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2018;9:557-.

3.            Stancu AL. AMPK activation can delay aging. Discoveries (Craiova, Romania). 2015;3(4):e53-e.

4.            Zeng XH, Zeng XJ, Li YY. Efficacy and safety of berberine for congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Am J Cardiol. 2003;92(2):173-6.

5.            Imenshahidi M, Hosseinzadeh H. Berberine and barberry (Berberis vulgaris): A clinical review. Phytother Res. 2019;33(3):504-23.

6.            Dong H, Zhao Y, Zhao L, Lu F. The effects of berberine on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Planta Med. 2013;79(6):437-46.

7.            Rao A. Efficacy of berberine hydrochloride on biochemical parameters in Indian type 2 diabetic patients. Endocrine Practice. 2017;23(1):18A.

8.            Wolf PG, Devendran S, Doden HL, Ly LK, Moore T, Takei H, et al. Berberine alters gut microbial function through modulation of bile acids. BMC Microbiology. 2021;21(1):24.

 

Article reviewed by
Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.
SCIENTIFIC & MEDICAL ADVISOR
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Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.

Scientific & Medical Advisor
Quality Garant

Ana has over 20 years of consultancy experience in longevity, regenerative and precision medicine. She has a multifaceted understanding of genomics, molecular biology, clinical biochemistry, nutrition, aging markers, hormones and physical training. This background allows her to bridge the gap between longevity basic sciences and evidence-based real interventions, putting them into the clinic, to enhance the healthy aging of people. She is co-founder of Origen.life, and Longevityzone. Board member at Breath of Health, BioOx and American Board of Clinical Nutrition. She is Director of International Medical Education of the American College of Integrative Medicine, Professor in IL3 Master of Longevity at Barcelona University and Professor of Nutrigenomics in Nutrition Grade in UNIR University.

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