The market is packed with supplements promising to ease various health issues. But, one specific product has managed to gain a lot of attention – berberine.
Berberine has been used as a natural treatment alternative in traditional Chinese medicine for a very long time.
Studies indicate that berberine could treat inflammation and unstable blood sugar alongside obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
The question is, can it benefit prostate health? We decided to take a closer look at this dietary supplement and all the berberine benefits.
What Is Berberine?
Berberine is a compound in many plants, such as tree turmeric, goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. This alkaloid is extracted from these plants, which are a key component in traditional Chinese medicine. Its primary use is to lessen insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
Berberine is a chemical that has a yellow color and bitter taste. According to experts, it may improve heartbeat and blood sugar. This could help individuals with specific heart problems.
It may also eradicate bacteria, keep the swelling in check, and manage the way the body uses the sugar in the blood.
Consumers often choose a berberine supplement for diabetes with either type 1 or 2 diabetes, as well as individuals with high blood pressure, cholesterol, fatty liver disease. If you decide to use berberine extract, it is best to consult with a doctor first.
Berberine Uses and Possible Effectiveness
Berberine hydrochloride has many uses. It works in a number of ways for the human body and can induce changes in the body’s cells. That’s why it can treat:
- Metabolic conditions (obesity, heart problems, diabetes that affects blood sugar)
- Bacterial infection (it inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is known for causing meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis)
- Inflammation (making it an essential component in diabetes and heart disease management)
- Cholesterol management (since berberine could be as effective as some cholesterol drugs)
- High blood pressure control (berberine supplementation can delay the onset of high blood pressure and decrease its severity)
Taking berberine can slightly decrease blood sugar levels, making it a viable option for diabetes management. When combined with other agents, berberine showed a consistent improvement in lipid and glycemic parameters.
Insulin sensitivity was also improved as the HOMA-IR value decreased by almost 50%. The HOMA-IR value is the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance.
It lets you and your doctor know the level of insulin the pancreas requires to control glucose. It is measured from the fasting insulin and blood glucose levels.
The chemical improves insulin similarly to metformin. It stimulates glucose intake to enhance insulin signal transduction.
Berberine and Prostate Health – What to Expect?
The odds of developing prostate cancer increase with age, creating a physical and emotional burden for patients.
People with increased blood sugar concentration tend to have a higher risk for prostate enlargement. Those with high blood glucose had three times the risk of developing enlargement of the prostate.
Diabetics are twice as likely to develop prostate inflammation compared to healthy men. That’s because the insulin receptor can affect prostate gland growth.
Conventional treatment, like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and anti-hormonal therapy, is often not enough to treat advanced prostate cancer. These limitations have inspired scientists to use new and improved methods that can benefit cancer cells.
Besides maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and insulin levels, the berberine alkaloid may support prostate health.
What Studies Say
There is more to berberine than meets the eye. According to a 2017 report, berberine HCL may treat prostate cancer by regulating multiple factors in the human body. That includes:
- Linoleic acid metabolism
- Arginine and proline metabolism
- Purine metabolism
- Spermine biosynthesis and retinoate biosynthesis
- Retinol metabolism
Based on another study, berberine improves benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is another typical disease of the prostate in older patients. It is recognized by urinary tract symptoms and increased prostate size. Berberine treatment alleviated all detrimental effects.
Not just weight loss, but PSA suppression (prostate-specific antigen) as well. These results suggest that berberine may have a beneficial effect on benign prostatic hyperplasia. This means it could be used as a therapeutic agent with fewer adverse events compared to conventional treatment.
Further research shows that berberine treatment resulted in an obvious drop in oxidative stress in rats with diabetes. Oxidative stress is linked to numerous pathological conditions, such as infection and inflammation.
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Additional Health Benefits of Berberine
Reduced risk of heart disease
High blood sugar and cholesterol can have a heavy impact on the heart. Berberine can help alleviate some of these problems. It might lessen the odds of heart disease by keeping the cholesterol level, glucose metabolism, and lipid metabolism in check.
One trial indicates that berberine improved the symptoms and lessened mortality risk in patients with heart failure.
Healthy weight loss can protect the body from type 2 diabetes, specific types of carcinoma, stroke, and osteoarthritis. Berberine could aid with shrinking some of that extra belly fat.
Based on a small berberine weight loss report, 37 women and men with metabolic syndrome consumed 300mg of berberine three times a day for three months. By the end of the trial, their BMIs went down.
The participants lost 2 inches around the waist on average. It may not be a drastic change, but it is more than enough to give the body a boost in the right direction.
Smearing berberine gel on the affected area can ease pain, oozing, size, and redness of canker sores. Gum disease can also impact glucose levels.
Diabetes links with an increased risk for thrush. Therefore, anyone with diabetes has an elevated risk for dry mouth. This could lead to mouth ulcers, cavities, dental infections, and soreness.
This supplement can drastically boost liver function. It can also increase blood lipids in individuals with NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
Moreover, it also provides a beneficial advantage in decreasing glucose in NAFLD patients. Further research is necessary, but it seems that liver enzymes can benefit from berberine.
Although NAFLD won’t usually cause harm in its earlier stages, it can eventually lead to liver damage. And can progress over time.
Having high amounts of fat in the liver can increase the likelihood of liver problems and other health issues, like kidney disease, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes.
When using berberine for blood glucose, cholesterol, or prostate, it is best to consult with a doctor first. Ideally, you should focus on stabilizing the high cholesterol. As well as blood sugar and blood pressure with proper medication, a healthy diet, and physical activity.
Berberine may create some potential benefits on blood sugar and blood pressure. However, it is not a magic pill. Individuals who have something to gain from a product such as this struggle with high cholesterol and blood sugar.
Some data strongly supports its use in diabetes and heart health. With that in mind, berberine could also prove useful for the prostate.
Not only can it manage blood sugar, but it can also lessen the odds of prostate health problems.
Learn 9 Best Prostate Supplements.