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8 Benefits of Berberine for Hashimoto’s 

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The benefits of berberine are countless. it is a potent, powerful, and naturally-occurring compound that has the potential to heal and restore the body in many ways. 

 Berberine for Hashimoto’s

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Berberine has been rising in popularity and recently earned itself a new nickname: “nature’s Ozempic” due to its ability to aid in natural weight loss. While it might not be the miracle pill some claim to be, it has impressive health benefits. 

Most importantly, it has the potential to help improve your gut health and autoimmunity. For this reason, using berberine to support gut health and autoimmunity is one of my favorite ways to utilize it!

WHAT IS BERBERINE?

Berberine is a plant compound found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark of the Berberis genus plant species. It contains powerful antioxidant properties and provides widespread anti-inflammatory effects. It also has lasting, positive impacts on the gut microbiome.

Note: Goldenseal and berberine are not the same thing. Goldenseal is an herb that naturally contains high amounts of berberine and can be used for berberine supplementation. This is why you may see the supplements labeled as “berberine” or “goldenseal.” 

I use berberine and goldenseal in many personalized protocols to support my clients in healing their gut to reverse autoimmunity. 

 Berberine for leaky gut

HOW LEAKY GUT AND HASHIMOTO’S ARE CONNECTED

Leaky Gut is a syndrome that affects the lining of your gut. In a healthy gut, cells lining the intestines are tightly joined, forming a barrier. 

However, in the case of Leaky Gut, these tight junctions loosen and allow larger particles and substances to pass through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. The proper term for this is “intestinal permeability” because the intestines become permeable.

As food and other toxins permeate the gut lining and enter the bloodstream, inflammation throughout the body can increase, creating a cascade effect. This helps explain why Leaky Gut is associated with many chronic diseases, such as autoimmunity and is often the root cause.

I focus on supporting gut health as the foundation for the women I help with Hashimoto’s. This approach helps improve many of the symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s. 

Hashimoto's meal plan with foods that help with energy

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BERBERINE

While berberine might not be the end-all-be-all, it is a potent, powerful, and naturally-occurring compound that has the potential to heal and restore the body in many ways. 

Here are 8 benefits of berberine: 

  • Supports the gut lining
  • Removes infections 
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Reduces cholesterol 
  • Supports bone health
  • Aids in safe and natural weight loss 
  • Natural antimicrobial and antiviral
  • Supports toxin removal and liver health 

Let’s dive into each benefit in more detail below. 

 Berberine for autoimmunity

SUPPORTS GUT HEALING

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, berberine can help reduce inflammation in the gut. It also helps tighten loose junctions in the gut lining, while regulating the gut microbiome. Using berberine for Leaky Gut Syndrome is an effective strategy to support healing.

Berberine also supports the gut by improving gallbladder function, which improves digestion and food assimilation. This helps us absorb our foods and better utilize the nutrients supporting cellular healing. 

As I mentioned above, I use berberine in many gut healing protocols. More specifically, it removes H. Pylori and parasites and improves overall dysbiosis. H. Pylori happens to be one of the most common gut infections, and I see it often in women with Hashimoto’s. 

The typical length of time someone would need to be on berberine to support these areas will vary, but I typically find 3-4 months is ideal for best results. 

REMOVES INFECTIONS

In conjunction with supporting the gut, berberine has been shown to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and pathogens in the gut. Because of this, it can serve as a great addition in gut protocols for Hashimoto’s that work to remove infections, like Candida yeast, SIBO, or e. Coli. 

Studies have shown that berberine keeps beneficial bacteria intact, unlike antibiotics, and only destroys pathogenic bacteria. 

Check out this post for the best stool test to detect gut infections. 

BALANCES BLOOD SUGAR

Many women with Hashimoto’s notice improved overall energy when they balance blood sugar levels. Berberine has most recently been nicknamed “nature’s Ozempic” due to its ability to regulate glucose and decrease insulin resistance (more on this below). 

This works by increasing glycolysis, which helps your body break down glucose, decrease sugar production in your liver, and slow the breakdown of carbs in your gut microbiome. 

The result is healthy blood sugar regulation– which plays a significant role in metabolic function, weight loss, satiety, hormonal balance, and more. 

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL

Women with Hashimoto’s often have slow thyroid conversions, which can elevate LDL (low-density-lipoproteins) cholesterol. PCSK9 is an enzyme that helps regulate cholesterol levels. Some studies indicate that berberine may downregulate the expression of PCSK9, which can lower LDL cholesterol (AKA the “bad” cholesterol) and allow for a better balance of LDL to HDL cholesterol. 

For this reason, berberine supplementation may help improve LDL levels and fight high cholesterol levels without using statins in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

SUPPORTS BONE HEALTH

Some studies suggest that berberine may influence the activity of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells), which therefore helps the the body maintain healthy bone density and structure. This is particularly relevant and helpful for those struggling with bone loss.

Bone loss is common among women with Hashimoto’s and autoimmunity, especially after menopause. In this article, you can read more about natural strategies to support osteopenia and osteoporosis. 

AIDS IN SAFE AND NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS 

Many women with Hashimoto’s have a hard time losing weight due to slow thyroid metabolism and blood sugar dysregulation. Berberine may offer a natural solution to support weight loss goals by suppressing appetite. Since it can also improve glucose utilization, it may help those with insulin sensitivity lose weight. 

In addition, berberine can aid in fat and weight loss by potentially reducing the production of new fat cells and activating thermogenesis in white and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Activating thermogenesis can increase energy expenditure, thus burning more calories for weight loss. 

Berberine increases the activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is responsible for burning calories and generating heat. Enhanced BAT activity can contribute to increased energy expenditure and weight loss.

It’s important to note that most mice were fed a high-fat diet in these studies to support weight loss using berberine. 

 Berberine for weight loss

ANTIMICROBIAL & ANTIVIRAL 

Berberine is a game changer when it comes to fighting germs holistically. Its antimicrobial and antiviral properties protect against various issues, from bacteria to viruses and parasites. It is also proven to be a strong shield against infections. 

The way it works is super fascinating! It disrupts the essential functions that germs need to survive and multiply, like their DNA, protein production, and outer membranes. Therefore, it makes it difficult for those germs to stick and cause troublesome symptoms. 

Whether you’re dealing with a common cold, a stomach bug, or any other infection, berberine is a beneficial tool for supporting your immune system!

SUPPORTS LIVER HEALTH

Berberine is a dependable support for liver health. One of its main roles involves regulating glucose metabolism within the liver, which can be specifically beneficial for individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance. 

Research suggests that berberine has the potential to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver and inflammation, both of which are conditions of fatty liver disease. By tackling these issues’ root causes, berberine reduces the toxins stored in the liver. This is an important issue to address when seeking to support gut healing and reverse autoimmunity. 

Lastly, its antioxidant properties protect the liver cells from oxidative stress accumulated by harmful free radicals. This protection not only preserves liver function but also strengthens its resilience against external threats. 

IS BERBERINE “NATURE’S OZEMPIC?”

Ozempic is a medication used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. However, it has recently gone viral for its ability to help with weight loss (even in those without Diabetes). While I do not recommend taking berberine for weight loss alone, it might indirectly help you achieve a healthy and sustainable weight. 

For many pursuing weight loss, inflammation, and blood sugar dysregulation are often two of the biggest roadblocks. While berberine is not a weight loss supplement, it can help regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation. 

I find that when using berberine for 3-4 months in a protocol to support inflammation and remove gut infections in individuals who have excess weight to lose, we typically see improvements in Hemoglobin A1c on lab reports, along with natural weight loss. 

HOW TO SUPPLEMENT WITH BERBERINE

Please note that supplementation should always be tailored to your body’s unique needs and chemistry while supervised by a qualified healthcare professional. Berberine supplementation is no different! 

While berberine, in the correct dosage, can offer some amazing health benefits, taking too much or for too long can disrupt the good bacteria in your gut. As a result, you might experience the reverse effect of worsening gut health. 

In my experience, clients typically do best when supplementing with berberine for 4 months to support gut health and autoimmunity. After a 4-month protocol, we usually reassess and move forward accordingly.

I highly do not recommend berberine supplementation for anyone currently treating intestinal parasites or infections with other herbs or antimicrobials, as the combination of all these supplements can be too much on the microbiome.

 Berberine for Hashimoto’s

WHICH BERBERINE SUPPLEMENT IS BEST?

Choosing the right supplement is crucial to ensuring that your body receives the very best it deserves. When considering which berberine supplementation to take, I always recommend selecting a pharmaceutical-grade brand and making sure you purchase from a retailer directly or through an online dispensary, such as Fullscript, which is regulated. 

Once you are in the Fullscript dispensary, you can search the catalog for “berberine” and will find many different quality brands. 

One example I love is by Thorne which contains 450mg of Berberine HCL and 550mg of Berberine Phytosome. 

PLEASE NOTE: I never recommend Amazon for supplements as we cannot ensure the quality and accuracy of the products sold. 

For golden thread (which contains berberine), I am a big fan of Golden Thread by Supreme Nutrition. This brand carefully crafts all products with the highest standards in mind and the potency can’t be compared. Their products are formulated with pure, organic ingredients, ensuring no fillers or additives to dilute their potency. They enforce strict quality control, making their products unparalleled in their effectiveness. 

You can conveniently get Golden Thread through my online Doctor’s Supplement Store and save 10% through the dispensary here. You will need to use a registration code to access the database (registration code: NY3721) 

WRAPPING IT ALL UP

Berberine is a natural compound found in various plants and holds amazing promise in addressing numerous inflammatory conditions. 

Berberine is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, cholesterol-lowering effects, and ability to help support and heal the gut lining. When used in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, it can support healthy weight loss. 

It’s important to consider using Berberine with realistic expectations and incorporating it into your supplement regime to support Hashimoto’s and autoimmunity.

In my clinical practice, I help clients support their gut health to reverse autoimmunity (Hashimoto’s) using a personalized functional medicine approach. I use customized protocols unique to an individual’s chemistry to support healing from the inside out. 

Check out my programs here to learn more about our approach and how I can help! 

What have you heard about Berberine? I would love to know more about where you are in your healing journey. Let’s chat in the comments below! 

8 Benefits of Berberine for Hashimoto’s 
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