Rainbow Loving…Who’s Next?
Definitely when we talk about food, we always stress the importance of the rainbow and eating a broad array of colorful foods. Following the same principle that the diverse array of colors and pigments represent key vitamins (ie. orange/red veggies are rich in Vitamin A), minerals (ie. green leafy veggies are rich in magnesium) and phytonutrients, we also love the rainbow when it comes to botanicals. Last month we talked about the bright orange capsules (yes, lovely curcumin) that many of us take on a daily basis for the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in addition to a long list of benefits including mood support, cardiovascular health, bone and joint health, blood sugar regulation, gastrointestinal wellness, antimicrobial support and complementary oncology benefits.,,,, Today we are looking at the bright yellow caps that are also extremely helpful to have in your dispensary, berberine!
Berberine is a beautiful yellow alkaloid found in goldenseal, Japanese goldthread, Oregon grape and barberry. If you put attributes into a pecking order, ‘broad antimicrobial’ properties ranks up there as one of the key attributes for berberine. It has also been called ‘hippie antibiotics’ in some circles. The pharmacokinetics of berberine are diverse and with it the more diverse patient populations that may benefit from it effectiveness. It has anti-inflammatory properties which can benefit nearly every chronic condition as excessive inflammation is the cornerstone of chronic disease.
While having a great antimicrobial and modulator of inflammation is a great addition to almost any integrative practitioner’s dispensary, the beneficial properties of berberine don’t end there. In vivo studies of berberine have shown it to have anticancer effects. While there are likely multiple mechanisms of action, it has been suggested that it may impede tumor progression by regressing abnormal cell proliferation, arresting cell cycle and inducing cell death as well as inhibit tumor cell invasion and angiogenesis.
This is just a sneak peek into some of the wonderful attributes of berberine. In a follow up blog, we’ll look at the mechanisms of action that may contribute to the impressive anti-diabetic effects of berberine. Go Yellow!
By Dr. Tina Beaudoin, ND
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