Berberine can provide several benefits to women with PCOS. This supplement can help you manage PCOS symptoms, including infertility and irregular periods.
Research shows that PCOS is among the most common hormonal disorder, affecting about 3% to 10% of women globally. Although various holistic and conventional treatment options can manage PCOS symptoms, berberine is the most frequently used supplement to treat this condition. Moreover, this supplement has shown the ability to increase the AMPK compound, which is effective in PCOS management, weight loss, glucose control and infertility. This article will go into more in-depth details on what berberine is, its benefits and whether including it in your diet can help manage PCOS symptoms.
What Is Berberine?
Berberine is a natural herbal supplement found in several plants, including Oregon grape, goldthread, European barberry, goldenseal and Phellodendron. You can find this natural yellow compound in the stem barks, rhizomes and roots of the plant species. This tiny compound has been a traditional Chinese medicine for a long time. And recently, Western research has revealed that this natural supplement has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the potential to manage PCOS symptoms. Even better, studies on several people using this natural compound showed that it’s a safe supplement even in premenopausal women.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS is a condition that affects women’s hormones, leading to abnormal amounts of male hormones and androgens. This hormonal disorder can manifest in reproductive-aged women in several ways, including infertility, development of small ovarian cysts, irregular periods and abnormal body and facial hair growth.
Benefits of Berberine for Women with PCOS
There are numerous benefits that berberine offers to women with PCOS, including:
Lack of ovulation or ovulatory dysfunction is a common symptom of PCOS. Using these natural supplements can improve ovulation and pregnancy rates for women with PCOS. In fact, one study revealed that berberine alone improves ovulation rate and menstrual pattern.
Most women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which makes their bodies ineffective in using the insulin produced by the pancreas. Therefore, your blood sugar and insulin levels can rise and lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated for extended periods. Notably, the CDC reveals that over half of women with PCOS aged 40 have diabetes. Research has shown that berberine significantly improves the body’s production of specific compounds that boost insulin sensitivity.
Women with PCOS can also benefit from berberine’s ability to reduce androgen levels. A study found that this natural compound can free androgen levels and reduce testosterone within three months of use.
Many women with PCOS have excess body fat accumulated around the midsection. Although this supplement isn’t a magic weight-loss pill, it redistributes fatty tissues and reduces the body’s ability to store more fats. Taking these supplements for about three months may lead to significant weight loss and lower BMI levels.
There is a high risk of getting fatty liver disease if you have PCOS, primarily due to high insulin levels. Fortunately, taking this natural compound can effectively reduce fatty liver. This works by lowering liver function enzymes and triglycerides and improving the liver’s condition.
Can Including Berberine in Your Diet Manage PCOS Symptoms?
Adding this natural supplement to your diet can go a long way in managing PCOS symptoms, but you should check with a health professional or doctor on the dosage that will work for you. In most cases, doctors will recommend you take about 500 mg once or twice a day for two or three weeks, then take a month’s break. Other medical professionals suggest that you take these supplements six days a week.
Also, try incorporating a probiotic into your diet since this natural compound contains antimicrobial properties. Avoid taking high doses that may lead to diarrhea or cramping due to poor intestinal uptake. Additionally, ensure you purchase a high-quality brand verified by a third-party laboratory.
Several studies suggest that berberine can effectively help in treating different symptoms associated with PCOS, including weight gain, fatty liver, testosterone and infertility. Better yet, this is a natural supplement that is considered safe. However, some people have had mild digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea. Therefore, ensure to consult a doctor to receive the right dosage.