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First Paragraph[edit]

Is it okay to modify the sentence with the "citation needed" at the end of the first paragraph (re source of Berberine) that has been there since 2011? The Wikipedia links to the shrubs and plants that produce berberine (mentioned in first paragraph) all contain information about the plant parts that are used in traditional herbal medications. All these plants have parts that have been variously used for this purpose, fruits, seeds, bark, roots/rhizomes. However, the cited literature often doesn't make empirical causal associations between berberine and the observed therapeutic effects, but merely hypothesizes that these effects may be due to berberine. The fact is that there are quite a few other bioactive alkaloids produced by the same plants, which may well contribute to the effects of the herbal preparations. Should this be reflected in the first paragraph? Suirauqa (talk) 16:44, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Is this one of the citations that are required?

Ruchi Badoni Semwal, Deepak Kumar Semwal and Pratibha Kapoor, 2012. Dyeing Properties of Berberis aristata DC with Natural and Synthetic Mordants. Trends in Applied Sciences Research, 7: 392-399.

DOI: 10.3923/tasr.2012.392.399

URL: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Effective dosages of berberine[edit]

I would like to see information added to this article about effective dosages of berberine. At this moment there there is no info in the article about what dosages are used in research. I would like to relate that information to the berberine content of food supplements containing herbal extracts of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and/or Berberis vulgaris. itsme (talk) 08:31, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Please read the articles cited, and you will find that the effective daily dosage is 1 to 1,5 grams. You are welcome to add this info if you so choose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
eg. "The therapeutic dosage for most clinical situations is 200 mg orally two to four times daily.[Birdsall TC, Kelly GS. Berberine: Therapeutic potential of an alkaloid found in several medicinal plants. Altern Med Rev 1997;2:94-103.]" Rod57 (talk) 11:52, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

medical status[edit]

Clinical use in western medicine only seems to be mentioned in the context of clinical trials for diabetes. Does it have FDA type approvals for any indications ? It seems to be a component of Armolipid Plus. There are 2 trials registered for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) [1]. Rod57 (talk) 04:19, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Unlike drugs, dietary supplements do not require FDA approval to be marketed. The restriction, however, is that with rare exceptions, the supplement companies are not allowed to make any claims for prevention or treatment of a disease EVEN IF TRUE. There is a difficult path to FDA-approved health claims. Most supplement companies do not try, and instead live with the restriction. David notMD (talk) 17:16, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


Need a section on acute and chronic toxicity (it seems to be fairly poisonous) and the effects of overdosing. Rod57 (talk) 11:02, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

With exceptions, I'm in agreement with Rod57. Berberine is a quaternary ammonium salt. Since other quaternary ammonium cations have proven to be toxic (dose dependently), it could be theorized that Berberine exerts similar effects. While there isn't a consensus, there seems to be spotted agreement on the toxicity of Berberine among those who study it (respective to dosage), but a dearth of available evidence in human studies. One study at NCBI has taken stabs at it with studies in mice, and shown it is in fact toxic to certain cells on them, though another study apparently showed that it wasn't significantly toxic in 'rat' cells. Two NCBI published studies cited here appear to blame some of the plants, roots, and rhizomes Berberine is derived from rather than Berberine itself:
There have been some suggestions that Berberine (the ingested form) may be harmful to intestinal flora, and longer term use may damage the lining of the intestines. Anecdotally, I've had a CT scan of my abdomen for what I thought was an unrelated issue, and was found to have Diverticulosis (not full blown Diverticulitis), and had been taking Berberine for a month prior. The gastrointestinal symptoms I was experiencing occurred after starting the supplement. This is only remarkable because a colonoscopy three years ago showed nothing of the kind, and the symptoms appeared within a month of regularly ingesting it. I realize my personal experience isn't by itself suggestive enough to warrant an indictment of ingested forms of Berberine, but it's worth noting, especially in the event any similar cases ae reported. The concerns expressed here and in the warnings here, may arise from findings on quaternary ammonium found here , though not necessarily about Berberine in supplemental form. Given its potential use for its medicinal properties being widespread, It's worth investigating. Brian_Soto (talk) 12:29, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
With respect, three years is plenty of time for diverticular disease to develop. (talk) 10:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Liver Cancer, Neurotoxicity, and Atherosclerosis risks[edit]

I added mention and references to two studies indicating berberine's serious potential to increase the risk of liver cancer, if taken over a lifetime. Most people assume that if a substance can kill cancer cells, it must lower the risk of cancer if taken every day. This is absolutely not the case, however. Many chemo drugs can cause secondary cancers. In fact, a class of chemo drugs called topoisomerase II inhibitors have also been found to cause leukemia, mainly AML (note berberine is a topoisomerase II inhibitor). And these studies re berberine and liver cancer are all the more credible as to the mechanism involved considering that coffee has been shown to dose-dependently lower the risk of human liver cancer, and its constituent chlorogenic acid induces the formation of topoisomerase I- and II-DNA complexes in cells (i.e., coffee works the opposite way from berberine in this respect, and coffee decreases liver cancer risk). In fact, for this same reason, if you consider supplementing with berberine, it would make sense to drink about 6 cups of coffee or decaf coffee a day to try to offset the potential for berberine to promote liver cancer via this mechanism.

I also cited a study showing neurotoxic effects of berberine. There are a couple of additional studies in support of this finding. However, I also cited studies showing neuroprotective effects of berberine. Obviously, the jury is still out on this one.

Lastly, I cited a study showing that berberine can increase the risk of atherosclerosis and foam cell formation, despite its cholesterol lowering effects. The jury is still out on this one, also, as other studies (I cited these, as well) show that berberine decreases the risk of atherosclerosis by mechanisms other than its cholesterol lowering effects.

I am not on some anti-berberine campaign. But I felt it worth noting that this chemical appears to have some concerning effects, in addition to its many beneficial ones. Probably the best way to think of berberine is as a true pharmaceutical drug with powerful beneficial effects on blood sugar and other health measures, but also with some concerning issues in its safety profile that must be taken into consideration and factored into any decision to supplement with it.Bdmwiki (talk) 14:34, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on PCSK9 [1] says that berberine inhibits PCSK9, thereby lowering cholesterol. I am not saying that the risk/benefit analysis therefore favors taking berberine, just that it is an effect of berberine that should be mentioned. Pollira (talk) 03:58, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Damaging edits of this article[edit]

This current version has been radically shortened comparing to what it was a year ago, supposedly in the name of reliability. Although SOME claims of the older versions were not solidly doccumented, most of them were. For example, version of October 10, 2015 had 109 references, mostly in reputable journals and books. The present version has only 13 references. Much damage has been done. Just one example, out of tens alike: Reference #18 of the Oct.10, 2015 "The anti-inflammatory potential of berberine in vitro and in vivo. Kuo CL, Chi CW, Liu TY (January 2004) Cancer Lett. 203 (2): 127–137. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2003.09.002. PMID 14732220." - why did someone remove this reliable and very important information? And tens of other referenced information? Someone careless has deprived the general population of the right to know those very important medical information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

See WP:WHYMEDRS. Alexbrn (talk) 05:31, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
It is essay, not guideline Cathry (talk) 09:38, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
And what MEDRS means is that Wikipedia has chosen to be a trailing indicator for what is true. New, and sometimes reversed science is in the journals, Wikipedia waits until the science is at or closer to consensus, based on human evidence. David notMD (talk) 17:19, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
  1. ^