June 24, 2020 4 min read
Berberine is a multi-purpose, natural compound with a remarkable range of health-promoting properties.
Derived from herbs such as barberry, Oregon grape and goldenseal, berberine has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including skin disorders, digestive issues, and topical infections.
Berberine is also the main active component of the ancient Chinese herb Coptis chinensis, which has long been used as a way to manage blood sugar.
More recently, researchers have found that berberine demonstrates powerful antifungal properties, in some cases as potent as prescription drugs. Research has also shown that is can promote optimal cardiovascular health.
Berberine HCl is one of the ingredients in our CandAssist formula. Let’s take a closer look at its potential health benefits.
Several studies have found that Berberine can help to regulate blood glucose levels and lipid metabolism in vitro, providing a glucose-lowering effect similar to that of metformin.
When tested in rats, berberine was found to increase the sensitivity of insulin, reducing insulin resistance.
In people with diabetes, berberine seems to help reduce blood sugar levels. Some studies have suggested that taking berberine daily for up to 3 months may help to control blood sugar as effectively as metformin or rosiglitazone. (4)
Berberine HCI has a wide range of benefits and mechanisms of action for managing diabetes. It appears to have hypoglycemic effects by inhibiting alpha-glucosidase activity while also increasing the activity of insulin receptors in peripheral tissues. This has the effect of improving insulin sensitivity.
In addition, berberine HCI helps to activates Nrf2, a key regulator of cellular antioxidant defense mechanisms. It also improves glucose induced neurotoxicity, which may mean it can be used as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy.
Controlled trials of Berberine HCI have shown it to reduce HbA1c levels in diabetic participants almost as effectively as metformin. (X)
One of Berberine’s most interesting abilities is to prevent the spread of yeast and fungal organisms – including those resistant to drugs.
A 2016 study found that berberine has antifungal activity against several types of yeast, including fluconazole-resistant Candida. When researchers treated these resistant samples with berberine, it killed the yeast cells by altering the integrity of the plasma and mitochondrial membranes, possibly acting at specific sites near cell DNA. (1)
More recently, berberine has been found to work alongside pharmaceutical drugs such as fluconazole, enhancing the overall antifungal activity of the drug in fighting Candida.
One of the biggest challenges in treating fungal and bacterial infections is biofilms.
Infections with biofilms are difficult to treat because their microbial structures are resistant to the activity of common antimicrobial drugs. Candida albicans is one of the main pathogenic microorganisms that uses biofilms.
Studies have found that berberine can reduce the growth of planktonic cells (cells which stick together) and inhibit their ability to grow.
This finding is relevant because biofilms are frequently associated with reduced sensitivity to conventional antimicrobial agents. (2)
Along with its many other health benefits, Berberine HCI may be an effective means of mitigating cardiometabolic disorders.
Researchers have found that Berberine targets multiple cardiometabolic risk factors in diabetes patients, including lowering total and LDL cholesterol. A clinical trial conduced on patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention showed that berberine improved multiple inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein.
In patients with metabolic syndrome, Berberine has been shown to reduce several risk factors such as waist circumference, body weight, blood pressure and triglycerides. It also helps to improve insulin resistance compared to placebo, particularly in women with PCOS.
As well as killing off pathogenic fungi, yeast and bacteria, Berberine can also be used as a powerful immune stimulant.
It’s often used to treat and prevent colds and flu, as well as speeding recovery from infection. Its ability to activate macrophages (white blood cells) has been shown to enhance the body’s overall defense system, allowing it to fight off invading pathogens. It also helps to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines that aggravate infections and slow healing.
Berberine supplements derived from goldenseal appear to stimulate antimicrobial activity and also enhance immune response by stimulating increased antibody production. For this reason, berberine has been suggested for use in illnesses that are otherwise difficult to treat.
If you want to try berberine yourself, look for product containing Berberine HCI. This hydrochloride extract of berberine is the most potent and popular form of Berberine and is also the form used most often in clinical studies.
Our CandAssist formula contains Berberine HCl and other antifungal ingredients.
It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora. An imbalance of Candida can cause problems with digestion and immunity. That’s why a balanced gut is so important to maintain good overall health.
Here are a few key reasons why CandAssist is so effective:
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