Have you heard of berberine? We've just had a look at some medical studies and I have to say we're impressed.
Berberine extract is a compound that has been shown to help individuals who have PCOS.
Herbs containing berberine have been used in Chinese medicine to treat diabetes for thousands of years. It is found in a handful of plants widely used in botanical medical practice including Goldenseal, Oregon grape, Barberry, and Chinese Goldthread.
This extract has value for dealing with a number of chronic disorders, including polycystic ovarian syndrome.
In a study at Harbin Medical University in China, of 109 women with polycystic ovary syndrome were given berberine. The researchers discovered that it was as effective as the drug metformin for improvement of insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and reduction of testosterone and blood sugar levels.
However, berberine was superior to metformin in several respects:
The women in this study took 500 mg. of berberine extract three times a day.
Another medical study suggested that taking this extract reduced testosterone production in ovarian cells.
If you can't tolerate the side effects of metformin, or don't wish to be on a medication for years and years, berberine may be a good alternative for you. Plus, it doesn't have side effect like metformin has.
It has been also used for centuries to support healthy bowel function. Why might this be of interest to you? There's been emerging research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and elsewhere to indicate that the type of bacteria in the intestines will influence the degree of obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation, and possibly future diabetes.
What's interesting is that it is known to alter the pattern of microorganisms in the gut. For example, the School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology in Shanghai China studied rats on a high-fat diet. Rats given berberine didn't develop obesity and insulin resistance in spite of eating a high-fat diet. The berberine-treated rats also did not eat as much food. The authors of this study indicated that it alters the populations and functions of gut bacteria, which in turn affects the whole body.
Finally, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China reported that rats given berberine recovered significantly from fatty liver disease. By the way, a large proportion of women with PCOS have fatty liver disease.
In summary: Berberine appears to be a very promising nutritional supplement for women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. The evidence so far is suggesting that it could relieve symptoms as well as -- or better than -- metformin, without the side effects of metformin.
Because of berberine's track record so far, we've added it to our online store. We would suggest you try this supplement for 6-12 months and see what happens. Possibly, you may wish use this supplement for long term control of PCOS.
Big caution about herbal products such as berberine: up to 1/3 of all herbal products are not at all what they claim to be. Stay away from cheap products; they may not contain ANY of the active ingredients shown on the label.
There has been a torrent of research published on its efficacy for many health conditions. Here's a quick sampling of some of the benefits revealed by recent research:
When you add it all up, berberine extract looks like a valuable component of your treatment program for PCOS and your overall health.
You can find berberine extract here.
An Y et al. The use of berberine for women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing IVF treatment. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2014 Mar;80(3):425-31.
Li Y et al. Effect of berberine on insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: study protocol for a randomized multicenter controlled trial. Trials. 2013 Jul 18;14:226.
Wei W et al. A clinical study on the short-term effect of berberine in comparison to metformin on the metabolic characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Jan;166(1):99-105.
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