Berberine is a compound found in various plants, including barberry, goldenseal, and Oregon grape. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, treating multiple conditions, such as diarrhea and inflammation. Recent studies show the effectiveness of Berberine for PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects approximately 3-10% of women of childbearing age. Multiple cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstrual cycles, and high testosterone levels characterize it. Symptoms can include weight gain, acne, excess hair growth, and infertility. In one study, women with PCOS who took Berberine for 3 months significantly improved their insulin levels and ovulation rates.
Benefits of Berberine for PCOS
Berberine is an herbal supplement that is effective in the treatment of PCOS. Berberine has several mechanisms of action that make it an ideal treatment for PCOS. Here are eight benefits of Berberine for PCOS:
- Reduces insulin resistance
- Lowers testosterone levels
- Stimulates ovulation
- Reduces inflammation
- Improve acne
- Reduces weight gain
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Improves digestive health
Improve Insulin Sensitivity
First, Berberine has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a significant problem in PCOS, and Berberine can improve insulin sensitivity by up to 50%. This considerable improvement can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Lowers testosterone levels
Research suggests that Berberine decreases testosterone levels in women with PCOS. Intake of Berberine for three-month had has following remarkable results :
- Lowes total testosterone levels
- Increased levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which takes up testosterone
- Cut back on free androgen index levels
Simulate Ovulation and Improve Ovarian Function
Berberine has also been shown to improve ovarian function. In one study, women with PCOS who were given Berberine had a significant increase in ovulation rate and a decrease in ovarian cysts. This increases the fertility rate and regulates menstrual cycles. This is likely because Berberine can help to normalize hormone levels in the body.in this way, it regulates menstrual cycles
Berberine can also help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is thought to play a role in developing PCOS, and Berberine has anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it can help to reduce the symptoms of PCOS and potentially prevent further progression of the condition.
Elevated testosterone levels in PCOS may increase sebum production and cell shedding, making your skin prone to acne and breakouts. Berberine for PCOS treatment can also treat acne and pimples skin by maintaining the hormonal balance.
Reduces weight gain
Researchers suggest that Berberine may help in healthy weight management in PCOS because it stimulates the redistribution of fatty tissue and reduces the body’s tendency to store additional fat.
Read More: Best Protein Powder For PCOS Weight Loss
Improves cholesterol levels
Women with PCOS are more prone to heart disease. However, research shows that Berberine effectively reduces the risk of heart disease.
A research study reveals that Intake of Berberine lowers LDL(Bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, raises HDL(good)cholesterol and maintains heart health. It also lowers blood pressure in women with PCOS.
Improves digestive health
One of the benefits of Berberine for PCOS is the management of dysbiosis, an imbalance of gut microbes. Dysbiosis is common in women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS have less diverse gut bacteria than healthy women. There is also evidence that bacterial diversity decreases with an increase in androgens levels, as in PCOS.
Dysbiosis can also cause intestinal permeability or leaky gut, resulting in symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Berberine supplementation place a positive impact on the production of short-chain fatty acids. This leads to an increment of good bacteria in the gut and improves any leaky gut.
The improved short-chain fatty acid levels in the intestine also contribute to Berberine’s beneficial effects in improving symptoms of metabolic syndrome in PCOS.
Related: PCOS Diet Plan
Dosage and Recommendations
While there is no cure for PCOS, treatments are available to help manage the symptoms. One such treatment is metformin, a medication typically used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, metformin can cause side effects such as gastrointestinal distress and low blood sugar.
Berberine is as effective as metformin in treating PCOS without many side effects. For example, in one study, women with PCOS who took Berberine for 3 months had improvements in their insulin levels, testosterone levels, and menstrual cycles. They also experienced weight loss and reduced inflammation.
Doctors usually recommend 500mg of Berberine thrice a day. However, if you consider taking Berberine for PCOS or any other reason, you must talk to your doctor first.
Read Also: 10 Super Benefits of Inositol for PCOS
Side effects of Berberine
Berberine is effective in treating PCOS and related symptoms. However, like any medication, it can cause side effects. The most common side effects of Berberine include:
- gastrointestinal upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- skin rash
Less common side effects include:
- low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
- liver damage
- increased risk of bleeding
If you experience these side effects, stop taking Berberine and call your doctor immediately.
The Bottom Line
Berberine is an alkaloid compound in several plants, including barberry, goldenseal, and Oregon grape. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, which is often used to treat digestive issues, skin problems, and infections. Recent studies suggest the use of Berberine for PCOS management. Although it has positive impacts, it is essential to consult a physician before consuming Berberine for PCOS.