Zinovoda and barberry – the roots of these plants are the source of a very helpful and highly pro-health substance called berberine. This plant alkaloid is considered one of the strongest natural supplements, and its healing properties have been appreciated centuries ago in traditional Chinese medicine
Representatives of the Berberis family, like barberry, once performed widely on the territory of Europe. It gained its notorious shrub when it turned out that it is the breadwinner, a pest destroying crops. For fear of the fate of their crops, the farmers began to exterminate the barberry massively. Their fate was different in Asian countries. In China, barberry was considered a plant with powerful healing properties. Today, its aesthetic values are used throughout the world – it is grown as an ornamental plant, but the benefits of its health properties seem to gain more and more interest. The raw material that is used to obtain the active substance – berberine – is the root, leaf, fruit and bark of barberry. From the leaves, infusions are obtained, which were used already in the Middle Ages in diseases of the bile ducts and liver. Fruit that can be used to prepare preserves – jams, juices and syrups, besides containing numerous active substances, also have amazing nutritional properties. They contain vitamins C and E and act similar to vitamin P, which help in the fight against colds and flu. In addition, they are characterized by a significant content of valuable minerals, carotenoids and pectins – insoluble components of the plant cell membrane and constitute one of the fiber fraction.
Who is it intended for?
Berberine is credited with numerous activities, from antibacterial and antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory to anti-depressant, and even – the ability to fight tumors. Therefore, in the Middle Ages, barberry extracts were a valued drug for anxiety-provoking diseases such as malaria and jaundice. The healing effect of berberine finds its application primarily in people who have problems with excessive levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. In addition, it can be used in gastric and cardiovascular problems. Studies also confirm the antiseptic effect of berberine when used in low concentrations.
Panaceum for diabetes and overweight?
The attention of scientists and doctors, however, attracts other properties of berberine. Dietary supplements that contain it turn out to have a powerful effect lowering blood sugar, slimming, and reducing cholesterol. This makes the barberry extract a serious candidate for a drug against diabetes. This is of great importance because the data on the increase in the incidence of this disease are alarming. Statistics show that until 2035, diabetes will affect up to 592 million people in the world. The operation of berberine is multidirectional. It reduces insulin resistance, promotes glycolysis, ie the breakdown of sugar in cells, reduces the amount of sugar produced in the liver, slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the intestines, and promotes the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system
The action of berberine in the fight against diabetes
– reduces insulin resistance,
– modifies the intestinal bacterial flora and reduces the absorption of sugar in the gut,
– reduces the production of glucose in the liver,
A wonderful preparation?
In addition to the above-mentioned, documented action of berberine in the treatment of diabetes and in the fight against overweight, this compound also shows a number of other beneficial effects on the body:
Berberine can be successfully used as a supplement to improve cognitive functions and memory. It directly influences the work of cholinergic pathways and neuroprotective effects. This relationship restores the appropriate level of BDNF, the factor responsible for improving the work of existing neurons and supporting the aggregation and formation of new units, moreover, BDNF is responsible for the appropriate process of memory, especially long-term memory. Berberine also prevents damage to neurons in the case of limited blood flow in the brain areas, and thus a low supply of oxygen, characteristic for example in the case of blood clots, narrowing of the blood vessel walls or blockages of blood vessels. The documented neuroprotection of berberine after a stroke is probably associated with inhibition of caspase 3 and JNK kinase and activation of the Akt / GSK3β / ERK1 / 2 protein pathway.
Berberine has a very positive effect on the intestinal function and regulation of the intestinal lining. Damage to the lining of the intestine occurs in the case of leaky intestinal syndrome and autoimmune diseases. This disorder is also associated with abnormalities in the blood-brain barrier. Berberine limits the amount of inflammation by reducing the amount of TNF-alpha. In addition, berberine also buffers the level of pathogens in the gut and affects the production of more SFA – short-chain fatty acids that strongly affect the activation of AMPK kinase, which in turn stimulates the factor PGC1-alpha, one of the epigenetic elements affecting a number of important metabolic proecesses in the body .