What is Berberine?
Berberine is an alkaloid compound and ammonium salt that is found in various plants in the berberis genus. Berberine has a distinct bright yellow color and was widely used in traditional practices as a dye for various textiles. Berberine has an extensive history in Ayurveda, being used for promoting immune system function. Plants like Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis) are natural sources of Berberine and have been used in Traditional Chinese practices and Ayurvedic practices.
Berberine actually has low bioavailability when consumed orally. This is why some people pair coconut oil with Berberine. Coconut oil contains sodium caprate, which is a fatty acid that increases the effectiveness and absorption rate of Berberine. When taken as a nootropic, Berberine carries various potential benefits to cognitive function and physical health.
Berberine Benefits and Uses
- May help support optimal cellular function
- May help promote metabolic function
- May help support balanced inflammation levels
- May help promote feelings of well being
- May help support cognitive function
How Does Berberine Work?
Berberine may benefit both physical health and mental faculties. Early studies suggest that berberine may inhibit telomerase, a protein associated with the life cycle and proliferation of cells. Yet recent Berberine research leads toward AMPK modulation as one of Berberine’s primary mechanisms of action. AMPK, also known as Adenosine monophosphate kinase, is an enzyme that helps support cellular energy and has a role regulating cellular nutrients within cells. AMPK activation increases the uptake and breakdown of glucose through glycolysis. What also makes Berberine so interesting is that it also slows down glucose production through gluconeogenesis while also lowering insulin secretions coming from pancreatic beta-cells. This ultimately means that insulin sensitivity increases. Some research finds that enhanced insulin sensitivity may help promote optimal body composition and may help support exercise performance. Interestingly enough, insulin plays a key role in the brain as well. Studies have shown that increased insulin sensitivity may help promote cognitive function.
Although elevated insulin sensitivity may be a more indirect effect on cognition, research finds that Berberine benefits to cognition might also be directly attributed to Berberine’s ability to activate sigma-1 receptors. Activation at these receptors raises BDNF levels and helps optimize NMDA activity. Research on BDNF activity found that decreased levels of BDNF may lead to low mood and diminished cognitive function, thus supporting evidence that Berberine may help promote overall cognitive function and positive mood. What also makes Berberine’s effects even more interesting is that BDNF and NMDA activity is also highly correlated to memory creation. Further research has also found that Berberine may help promote acetylcholine levels by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. By blocking acetylcholinesterase, Berberine may help promote higher acetylcholine levels in the brain. This in combination with AMPK modulation and sigma-1 receptor activation makes Berberine a great option for those looking for a well rounded and all natural nootropic!
AMPK activation also speeds up the breakdown of fatty acids through fatty acid oxidation. As an added bonus, AMPK activation has dual effects as it may also decrease fatty acid production by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis. Berberine AMPK activation suggests that there may be Berberine benefits on weight loss. However, research finds that taking a Berberine supplement alone will not promote significant weight loss compared to pairing a Berberine supplement with a healthy diet and exercise routine.
As a dietary supplement, take 500mg of Berberine three times daily, preferably 20 minutes before a meal.
To gain more insight, see the Berberine reviews and experiences below.
Where to Buy Berberine
Nootropics Depot offers 30g or 60g jars of high quality Berberine HCL Powder. Nootropics Depot's Berberine HCL has been lab-tested and verified for both product purity and identity.
You may also like Berberine HCL Capsules.
*Attention: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Warning: This product is extremely bitter and not readily soluble in water. The bitter flavor, which is much like bile, will linger for a very long time. In addition to this, the powder, when it comes into contact with fabrics or skin, will stain neon yellow. Handle with caution.