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Selecting the Best Berberine Supplement

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by a holistic health practitioner.

Imagine a supplement that could positively impact not just one, but multiple aspects of your health, from blood sugar control to weight management, and even potential benefits for your mental health. Berberine might just be the key you have been looking for.

Berberine, a natural bioactive compound found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of certain herbal plants, has been the subject of extensive research due to its potential health benefits. Many have found it particularly helpful for regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels, managing cardiovascular health, supporting healthy lipid metabolism, and mitigating inflammatory responses.

"Berberine has many different uses for the body. I personally use berberine to support healthy microflora in my gut," says Angela Halderson, RDN, CHC, Integrative & Functional Nutrition Practitioner for Natural Healthy Concepts. "Berberine helps restore proper beneficial bacteria in the gut by acting as a prebiotic. It also helps neutralize unwanted bacteria, like staph and strep. Berberine also helps maintain blood sugar within a healthy range, so it can help with cravings and weight loss. Berberine can also be used to help restore healthy cholesterol levels."

In this article, we will cover the following topics to inform your search for the best berberine supplement:

  • • A Brief History
  • • Three Berberine Supplements to Try
  • • How It Works
  • • The Health Benefits
  • • Dosage Guidelines
  • • Potential Side Effects
  • • How to Select the Best Berberine Supplement
  • • Summary

A Brief History

The history of berberine's use as a dietary supplement is rich and spans many centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, it was used for its antimicrobial properties and to support gastrointestinal health. In Ayurvedic medicine, it was employed for its potential to regulate blood sugar levels. The ancient Assyrians used it as a blood-purifying agent. Indigenous peoples in North America included it as an immune system enhancer. Berberine-containing plants, such as barberry, have also been used in Persian and Middle Eastern traditional medicine to address a range of health concerns.

Berberine-rich plants like goldenseal gained popularity in the 19th century in the United States, where they were utilized as herbal remedies for various ailments, including digestive issues and skin conditions. During this time, berberine's use as a dietary supplement began to gain recognition.

In the 20th century, scientific research started exploring berberine's health benefits. This research has uncovered the compound's potential for regulating blood sugar levels, supporting cardiovascular health, and addressing various metabolic concerns. Berberine's mechanism of action, particularly its impact on glucose and lipid metabolism, has been the subject of extensive study.

As the scientific evidence supporting berberine's health benefits has grown, the production of berberine supplements has become more prevalent. Today, berberine is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and extracts, making it more accessible to those looking to incorporate its potential health benefits into their daily routine.

Three Berberine Supplements to Try

Berberine can be found in food sources such as goldenseal, barberries, Oregon grape berries, Chinese goldthread, and tree turmeric. However, these food sources are not readily available to most people, and their berberine content can vary. Besides, obtaining therapeutic levels of berberine may not be practical through such dietary sources alone. As a result, berberine is more commonly consumed in the form of supplements for its potential health benefits.

In your search for the best berberine supplement, try one or more of the following practitioner picks:

1. Integrative Therapeutics Berberine

Berberine by Integrative Therapeutics is formulated to support glucose, lipid, and insulin metabolism while enhancing cardiovascular function. With 60 servings per container, this product offers a convenient and natural way to promote overall health and wellness.

Each capsule contains 500 mg of Berberine HCl and is 100% vegetarian friendly. It is manufactured without common food allergens, artificial additives, or ingredients of animal origin, ensuring purity and quality. The easy-to-swallow capsules can be taken two to three times daily, as recommended by your healthcare professional. Incorporating Berberine by Integrative Therapeutics into your routine can contribute to healthier blood glucose levels, optimal metabolic function, and overall well-being.

Supplement Details:

  • Form: capsules
  • Dose: 1 capsule, 2 to 3 times daily
  • Servings per Container: 60

Before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have diabetes or are taking medications, it's advisable to consult with your healthcare professional to ensure it aligns with your specific health needs.

2. Xymogen Berberine

Berberine by Xymogen offers a substantial supply of berberine, a compound with demonstrated benefits for blood glucose and lipid metabolism. Xymogen Berberine comes with 60 servings per container, each containing 120 veg capsules. In addition to its metabolic benefits, this berberine HCl formulation supports gastrointestinal and immune health.

This product comes from a trusted brand known for its commitment to the highest standards of purity and potency. For recommended usage, adults are advised to take two capsules twice daily or follow the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Supplement Details:

  • Form: 120 veg capsules
  • Dose: Adults take 2 capsules twice daily.
  • Servings per Container: 60

As a responsible precaution, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, it's advisable to consult your healthcare practitioner before introducing this or any new supplement into your wellness routine.

3. Klaire Labs Berberine

Berberine by Klaire Labs is a trusted dietary supplement that supports glucose and lipid metabolism. Each container contains 120 capsules, offering 60 servings of this beneficial product. This supplement delivers a highly concentrated form of berberine derived from botanical extracts.

The variety of berberine in this product is berberine hydrochloride (HCl), the most researched form. With a recommended usage of 2 capsules, 1 to 2 times daily, or as directed by a healthcare professional, it offers a convenient way to incorporate the benefits of berberine into your daily health regimen.

Supplement Details:

  • Form: 120 capsules
  • Dose: Take 2 capsules, 1 to 2 times daily
  • Servings per Container: 60

It's essential to consult your healthcare practitioner before adding any new dietary supplement to your routine, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition. Additionally, store this product in a cool, dry place, away from direct light, to maintain its quality.

How It Works

The berberine compound works at the molecular level to deliver its benefits. One of the most notable actions of berberine is its activation of an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). In animal studies, AMPK significantly regulated energy levels and metabolism.

Berberine affects other molecules in cells as well. The compound may even turn some genes on or off, helping to protect against chronic health conditions.

The Health Benefits

Berberine offers a range of health benefits supported by scientific research. Here's a list of some of its key benefits, along with explanations:

1. Blood Sugar Regulation

Berberine has been extensively studied for its role in regulating blood sugar levels. According to a report published by the National Library of Medicine, the berberine compound can improve insulin sensitivity, increase glucose uptake in cells, and reduce excessive glucose production in the liver. Studies published in Metabolism in 2008 and 2009 found that berberine was as effective as metformin in lowering blood sugar levels. These effects make it valuable for managing conditions like diabetes.

The berberine compound affects glucose metabolism in several ways. It can activate an enzyme called adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps regulate cellular energy balance. Activation of AMPK is the factor that increases cellular glucose uptake, enhances insulin sensitivity, and reduces excessive glucose production.

2. Lipid Metabolism

Berberine helps lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol. It also supports the breakdown of fats in the liver, leading to improved lipid profiles. This benefit is crucial for cardiovascular health.

Studies have demonstrated berberine's positive impact on lipid metabolism. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2015 reviewed several trials and concluded that berberine effectively reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.

3. Weight Management

Many people have reported that berberine has helped curb their appetite. A reduced appetite translates to fewer calories consumed, and fewer calories typically leads to weight loss.

A recent nutrition and fitness article published by the Mayo Clinic notes that berberine is not a magic formula for weight loss; however, its enhancement of insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism can assist in weight management and improved body composition. A study published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy in 2020 demonstrated its effective impact on body weight and body mass index (BMI).

4. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects

Berberine's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are well-documented. Various studies have demonstrated that berberine helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Its anti-inflammatory properties are due to its effectiveness in reducing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. This effect can benefit the immune system and conditions associated with chronic inflammation, such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

As an antioxidant, berberine helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage and supporting overall well-being.

5. Digestive Health

Berberine can help with gastrointestinal issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and digestive discomfort. According to a study published in Natural Medicine Journal, in a 14-week placebo-controlled clinical trial of berberine hydrochloride in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, the berberine group experienced more significant improvement than the placebo group.

Emerging research also suggests that berberine can influence gut microbiota composition, promoting a balanced and healthy gut environment. A balanced gut microbiome enhances overall health, including digestion and immune function.

6. Cardiovascular Health

Berberine supports cardiovascular health by reducing LDL cholesterol levels, improving glucose and lipid profiles, dilating blood vessels, and potentially lowering blood pressure. These effects can reduce the risk of heart disease and help manage blood pressure, thereby supporting heart health.

In an article entitled, "Berberine in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases," researchers have noted that cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Although Western medicine is still the mainstream therapy for preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases, such methods potentially have adverse consequences. Alternative and complementary therapies are needed. Due to recent advances in pharmacological research, berberine has emerged as one of the most promising natural product solutions for treatment. Researchers in cardiovascular health are seriously exploring the therapeutic potential of berberine.

7. Mental Health

Some studies suggest that berberine may positively impact mood and mental health. In a placebo-controlled trial published in Natural Medicine Journal, anxiety and depression scores were significantly better in the berberine group compared to the placebo.

Alternative Medicine Review notes berberine's potential for affecting multiple systems in the brain, including the modulation of neurotransmitters. Researchers are exploring the compound's possibilities for addressing Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and anxiety. Early findings regarding berberine's impact on depression have been particularly encouraging

8. Hormonal Health in Women

Some women may benefit from taking berberine to improve their hormonal health. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts. Berberine, taken by mouth, can lower the waist-to-hip ratio in women with PCOS. It can also reduce their blood sugar, cholesterol, triglyceride, and testosterone levels.

9. Antimicrobial Properties

An article published by the National Library of Medicine notes that berberine exhibits antimicrobial effects against various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The American Society for Microbiology adds protozoa and yeasts to the list. These properties may help treat infections and support the immune system.

Berberine Dosage

The appropriate berberine dosage can vary based on individual health needs and the product used. It's essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to determine the proper dosage for your circumstances. However, here are some general guidelines for berberine dosage:

1. For Glucose and Lipid Metabolism

A standard dosage range for supporting glucose and lipid metabolism is 500 mg to 1500 mg daily, divided into two or three doses. It's essential to start with a lower amount and gradually increase it while monitoring your response.

2. For Gastrointestinal Health

For gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), doses of around 400-500 mg, two to three times daily, may be recommended.

3. For Infections

In cases of infections, the dosage can vary widely depending on the type and severity of the infection. It may range from 200 to 500 mg, two to three times daily.

Potential Side Effects

Most people do not experience adverse side effects when using berberine at appropriate dosages and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. However, like any supplement or medication, it can cause side effects in some individuals. Here are some common side effects associated with berberine:

1. Gastrointestinal Distress

Mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, or flatulence can occur, especially when starting berberine supplementation. These symptoms often improve as the body adjusts to the supplement. Berberine can also exacerbate symptoms of certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcers.

2. Nausea and Vomiting

Some people may experience nausea and, in rare cases, vomiting. Taking berberine with meals or in divided doses can help reduce these symptoms.

3. Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)

Berberine has the potential to lower blood pressure. Individuals with pre-existing low blood pressure may experience dizziness or lightheadedness. It's important to monitor blood pressure and consult a healthcare provider if you notice significant drops.

4. Drug Interactions

Berberine may interact with certain medications, affecting their efficacy or causing adverse effects. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you are taking medications for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

5. Allergic Reactions

While rare, allergic reactions to berberine, such as skin rashes or itching, have been reported. Individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to berberine or related compounds should avoid supplementation.

6. Liver and Kidney Health

Berberine is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. If you have underlying liver or kidney conditions, consult with a healthcare provider before using berberine, as it may exacerbate these conditions.

Who should not take berberine supplements? In addition to being aware of the potential side effects above, note there are certain groups of people who should exercise caution or avoid berberine supplementation: pregnant or nursing women, children, people with certain underlying medical conditions, and individuals preparing for surgery. Because berberine may have blood-thinning effects, discontinue berberine supplementation well in advance of any surgical procedure to prevent excessive bleeding. Consult with a healthcare provider before use.

How to Select the Best Berberine Supplement

Choosing the best berberine supplement is essential to ensure you receive its full health benefits while maintaining safety and effectiveness.

"When choosing which berberine supplement to take, be sure to pair it with your needs," says Halderson. "Berberine is not well absorbed in the gut, which can be a good thing. Reach for a basic berberine supplement when focusing on gut health. A sustained release of berberine is a better choice for someone working to achieve healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss."

Here are vital factors to consider when selecting a high-quality berberine supplement:

1. Form of Berberine

The most effective form of berberine is berberine hydrochloride (berberine HCl). Berberine HCl is the most well-studied and widely used form of berberine in scientific research and clinical applications. All three berberine products reviewed in this article contain berberine HCl. Here's why it is considered the most effective:

  • Bioavailability: Berberine HCl has good bioavailability, meaning it is readily absorbed and utilized by the body. This factor is crucial for it to exert its beneficial effects.
  • Stability: Berberine HCl is a stable form of berberine, which means it remains effective and active over time, provided it's stored properly.
  • Clinical Research: Most clinical studies investigating the health benefits of berberine have used berberine HCl, making it the form with the most substantial scientific support.
  • Consistency: Berberine HCl ensures consistent dosing, which is important when using berberine for specific health conditions. This consistency is especially valuable in clinical and therapeutic settings.

While berberine HCl is considered the most effective form, it's essential to note that the effectiveness of any supplement, including berberine, can also depend on factors such as dosage, individual response, and the overall quality of the product.

2. Purity and Quality

Select a reputable brand known for adhering to strict quality standards and testing for purity. Look for third-party testing or certification, which verifies the product's quality and accuracy of label claims.

3. Dosage and Concentration

Consider the concentration of berberine in each capsule. Typical dosages range from 500 mg to 1500 mg per day. Check the number of capsules per serving and the total servings per container to calculate the daily dosage accurately.

4. Vegetarian or Vegan Options

If you have dietary preferences or restrictions, choose a supplement with vegetarian or vegan capsules.

5. No Additives or Fillers

Ensure the product does not contain unnecessary additives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.

Check for allergen-free, non-GMO formulations if you have allergies or sensitivities.

6. Consult with a Healthcare Professional

It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Your healthcare professional can help determine the proper dosage and form for your health needs.

7. Product Reviews and Recommendations

Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from trusted sources or healthcare providers to identify reputable brands and products.

8. Price and Value

Consider the price per serving to ensure you are getting good value for your investment. Beware of extremely low prices, which may indicate lower quality or insufficient berberine content.

9. Storage and Expiration Date

Check the storage recommendations and ensure the product is stored correctly to maintain its effectiveness. Verify the expiry date to ensure product freshness.


Berberine is an extensively researched natural compound holding promise in various health domains. It operates at the molecular level to influence key metabolic pathways, including those related to glucose and lipid metabolism. Its multifaceted effects on these pathways make it a potential solution for managing conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

However, it is imperative to approach berberine supplementation with informed decision-making. One should be aware of potential side effects and interactions with medications.

Your choice of the best berberine supplement should be based on considerations such as the form of berberine, dosage, and the guidance of healthcare professionals. This article has highlighted three quality berberine products for your convenience.

In your journey toward better health, berberine may stand as a valuable ally, inviting you to explore its remarkable contributions to vitality and longevity.

How We Chose the Best Supplements

For the ranking, the editorial team consulted with an accredited nutrition expert. Ratings were based on user satisfaction, cost, and third-party certification and determined solely by the editorial team.

All product prices are accurate as of publication and are subject to change.