Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that affects a woman’s hormone balance. It’s a chronic condition that’s usually known for its negative impact on fertility, however, PCOS affects lots of other things too. Cysters often live daily with other symptoms like weight gain, digestive problems, acne, excess body hair, sleeping issues, lowered immunity, and more.
Despite the fact PCOS’s grip on a Cyster’s health, there isn’t a cure yet for polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, there are medications and natural treatments that can help you reduce symptoms and actually reverse your PCOS. Research-backed supplements can have a big influence on your polycystic ovarian syndrome healing goals, and one of those often considered for PCOS is berberine!
Today, I’m dedicating my post to berberine and how it could have a role in your healing journey!
Berberine for PCOS
There are three main supplements and medications that are used to help women with PCOS. Inositol (natural supplement), berberine (natural supplement), and metformin (medication) are all effective forms of symptom management for Cysters everywhere! I have other posts detailing my opinions on inositol (my favorite form of treatment for PCOS) and metformin (not my favorite), but I haven’t discussed berberine much outside of this podcast episode. Here’s what berberine can do for your PCOS:
What Does Berberine Do for PCOS?
Berberine is a natural supplement that can have profound positive impacts on a Cyster’s health. Because it’s natural, it doesn’t have harsh side effects, yet it has several big benefits for PCOS bodies. You’ll likely see significant improvements in insulin sensitivity, gut health, weight loss, hormone balance, and long-term risk factors. These are the details:
Benefits of Berberine for PCOS
Improves insulin sensitivity.
Berberine has been shown in many studies to be a potent insulin sensitizer. Since up to 70% of women with PCOS struggle with insulin resistance, this is an important area for improvement. Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, cravings, headaches, chronic infections, hormone imbalances, dark patches of skin, and more. However, berberine promotes insulin receptor activity, which has a big insulin sensitizing effect!
Berberine can also balance a Cyster’s lipid profile by reducing triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and by increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. It impacts all types of cholesterol in the right ways!
Lowers blood pressure.
Though more studies need to be conducted, early research suggests that berberine can help lower blood pressure. It does this by aiding in relaxing your vascular muscles for better flow and reduced pressure.
Reduces the risk of heart disease.
Many of the benefits of berberine are similar to that of metformin. However, berberine doesn’t have the side effects of the synthetic drug and studies find that berberine actually does a much better job reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease! This is because of berberine’s effect on insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and blood pressure.
Betters gut health.
As I mentioned earlier, gut health can be a PCOS challenge. And, gut health doesn’t only affect your digestion, but it impacts your whole body and mind. Research has even shown that poor gut health can lead to brain fog, anxiety, depression, and other cognitive problems. Luckily, berberine has been shown to improve gut health by increasing good bacteria and strengthening your gut barrier.
Lowers risk of fatty liver disease.
Women with PCOS are at a much greater risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Berberine can lower your risk of fatty liver disease by improving your cholesterol levels and supporting lipoprotein receptors.
Berberine can also be cancer fighting. It does this first by improving your insulin sensitivity, since sugar can actually fuel cancer cells and promote the growth of tumors. So, berberine can help prevent cancer cells from growing and invading healthy cells while also boosting breast adipose tissue to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Chronic low grade inflammation can have significant effects on the body from muscle pain and fatigue to depression and insomnia. Berberine can help reduce inflammation by blocking certain proteins and inhibiting others.
Reduces androgen levels.
I like to think of berberine as a sponge that soaks up all your excess testosterone. This is really how it works! Berberine increases a sex hormone-binding globulin and cleans up free androgens in the body. Since many Cysters have high androgen levels, a reduced total testosterone level is a huge plus for berberine! (Here are more ways to lower testosterone.)
Improves weight loss.
Leptin resistance is a common reason for PCOS weight gain. Leptin is the thing that tells us we’re full and satiated. However, when leptin doesn’t alert our brain that our stomachs are full, we keep eating and having intense cravings. Berberine can improve leptin sensitivity, which has been shown to help women reduce body fat and reach their weight loss goals!
Best Berberine Supplement for PCOS
This is my personal favorite supplement brand with great ingredients and an NSF-certification. It’s also allergen-free and will fit right in your PCOS diet.
Thorne is another quality brand that comes at a good price. These also have no fillers or extras that could compromise your healing goals.
The Designs for Health berberine supplement also has alpha lipoic acid, which has additional insulin sensitivity benefits. Like the others, it’s hypoallergenic and made with top quality ingredients.
This berberine supplement also has Oregon grape root and goldenseal root. The focus of this supplement is intensional support. These additional ingredients can help further with digestive and skin health.
Should I Take Berberine for PCOS?
You may be thinking, Tallene, if berberine is so good for PCOS, why isn’t it included in your supplement set? That’s a great question! Research has investigated the effectiveness of metformin, berberine, and inositol. We have inositol available as of right now, and berberine will be coming soon!
The effects of berberine are undeniably beneficial for women with PCOS!
Berberine can be a great tool for natural PCOS healing. Again, I recommend trying Ovasitol first, and seeing your reaction and improvements there. As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements and remember not to take berberine and inositol together.