Berberine: metabolic and cardiovascular effects in preclinical and clinical trials
Arrigo FG Cicero1, Sibel Ertek2
1Internal Medicine, Aging and Kidney Diseases Department, Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 2Ufuk University, Medical Faculty, Dr Ridvan Ege Hospital, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Ankara, Turkey
Abstract: Berberine is a plant alkaloid with numerous biological activities. A large body of preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies support different pharmacological actions of berberine that could be potentially useful in the management of metabolic diseases associated with high cardiovascular disease risk, such as mixed hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it seems that berberine also exerts anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects that could play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and its clinical consequences. Recently, the metabolic effects of berberine have been demonstrated in humans, opening new perspectives for the use of this molecule in patient therapy. Larger and longer clinical studies need to be carried out to implement the definition of the therapeutic role of berberine in humans.
Keywords: berberine, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cholesterol
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