Have You Heard of Berberine for Weight Loss? Here’s Why It’s Trending

Have You Heard of Berberine for Weight Loss? Here’s Why It’s Trending

Are you on social media? If you are, there is a good chance you’ve heard of berberine because it’s trending right now! But why is berberine so popular? 

Blood Sugar, Fat Metabolism, And More!

With weight loss in the news a lot lately, berberine is trending because it may help support the healthy metabolism of fat and regular blood sugar levels already in the normal range. For example, a 2019 study featuring 80 people with blood sugar issues found that berberine helped support healthy blood sugar levels, as well as healthy metabolism of fats and cholesterol.1 This finding is consistent with a 2022 analysis of 37 different studies that found that berberine can help support healthy blood sugar and fat metabolism.2

In addition to blood sugar and fat metabolism support, berberine may also help with energy, digestive and heart health, and immune function.3,4 For many years, berberine has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support digestion and gut health, in particular gut microbiota balance.5 For people on a ketogenic diet, berberine may also help support normal ketone synthesis. 

Where Does Berberine Come From?

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a wild evergreen shrub that grows in the mid to low elevations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Berberine is the active alkaloid compound found in the Oregon Grape plant that has been shown to support health on many levels.6 The root of the Oregon Grape plant is often combined with berberine to provide additional support.

Keep On Trending Berberine!

There is a reason berberine is so hot right now. Now we don’t know if it can definitely do all these things people say they can, but if you’re looking to support your health on many levels including healthy metabolism of fat and regular blood sugar levels already in the normal range, it may be worth looking into it and discussing it with your physician. 

When you look at the purported digestive, heart, and immune-supporting benefits of berberine, it’s easy to see why it will likely keep trending on social media for a while. If you’re thinking about healthy weight management, it might be time to do a gut check first. Don’t forget to follow @zhou_nutrition for more fitness and wellness tips!


  1. Cao C, Su M. Effects of berberine on glucose-lipid metabolism, inflammatory factors and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome. Exp Ther Med. 2019;17(4):3009-3014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434235/?report=reader
  2. Xie W, Su F, Wang G, et al. Glucose-lowering effect of berberine on type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Pharmacol. 2022;13. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2022.1015045/full
  3. Ehteshamfar SM, Akhbari M, Afshari JT, et al. Anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory impacts of berberine on activation of autoreactive T cells in autoimmune inflammation. J Cell Mol Med. 2020;24(23):13573-13588. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754052/?report=reader
  4. Ye Y, Liu X, Wu N, et al. Efficacy and safety of berberine alone for several metabolic disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Front Pharmocol. 2021;21. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.653887/full
  5. Cheng H, Liu J, Tan Y, et al. Interactions between gut microbiota and berberine, a necessary procedure to understand the mechanisms of berberine. Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis. 2022;12(4):541-555. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095177921001179
  6. Janeczek M, Moy L, Lake EP, Swan J. Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Topical Mahonia aquifolium for the Treatment of Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(12):42-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334833/?report=reader