Can Berberine and Metformin be used for PCOS? (4 Benefits)

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Can Berberine and Metformin be used Together for PCOS?

Berberine is often used with metformin in order to achieve a better therapeutic effect for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Berberine is effective for PCOS because it provides the following benefits:

  1. Improves fertility and insulin resistance
  2. Regulates lipid metabolism
  3. Helps in weight loss and manages moderate chronic inflammation
  4. Reduces androgen levels

This was stated in a review study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy in 2021. Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Health, in 2021, revealed that combining metformin with other drugs improved its efficacy in women’s metabolic and endocrine profiles. 

Another recent study published in the Journal of Cureus in 2022, proved that Metformin was better at treating PCOS while Berberine was superior to reduce the risk of heart disease and improving hormone status.

In the video below, Health Coach Kait explains how studies have shown the natural supplement berberine to be as effective as metformin in reducing PCOS symptoms, making it a potential alternative.

This is our recommended Berberine supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Berberine Plus 1200mg Per Serving – 120 Veggie Capsules Royal Jelly, Supports Healthy Immune System, Improves Cardiovascular Heart & Gastrointestinal Wellness

Why is Berberine effective for Weight Loss in women with PCOS?

Berberine is effective for Weight Loss in women with PCOS because it plays an important role in reducing the secretion of the leptin hormone which has an appetite-stimulating function. In addition, it inhibits lipoprotein lipase which is responsible for fat storage.

Aside from its effectiveness, a study published in the Journal of Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2020, concluded that the use of Berberine for PCOS is both safe and promising.

How much Berberine should be taken for PCOS?

Berberine can be taken for PCOS in a range between 500 mg once or twice daily and should be taken with meals. It can be found in capsule, liquid, or powder forms.

However, you should consult your healthcare provider about the appropriate dose for you.

A study published in 2012 in the European Journal of Endocrinology, concluded that berberine had a positive effect on controlling hormonal imbalances in Chinese women.

How Long Should I Take Berberine for PCOS?

For PCOS, Berberine is better taken on a short-term basis. It’s recommended to take a one-month break after 8-12 weeks of berberine consumption to avoid unwanted complications. 

When taken on a long-term basis, Berberine can cause gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach. 

That being said, the optimal thing to do is to consult your doctor first before you start taking berberine.

Want to know more?

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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  1. Zhang SW, Zhou J, Gober HJ, Leung WT, Wang L. Effect and mechanism of berberine against polycystic ovary syndrome. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun;138:111468. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111468. Epub 2021 Mar 16. PMID: 33740526.
  2. Zhao, H., Xing, C., Zhang, J. et al. Comparative efficacy of oral insulin sensitizers metformin, thiazolidinediones, inositol, and berberine in improving endocrine and metabolic profiles in women with PCOS: a network meta-analysis. Reprod Health 18, 171 (2021).
  3. Mishra N, Verma R, Jadaun P. Study on the Effect of Berberine, Myoinositol, and Metformin in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Prospective Randomised Study. Cureus. 2022 Jan 31;14(1):e21781. doi: 10.7759/cureus.21781. PMID: 35251851; PMCID: PMC8890747.
  4. Rondanelli M, Infantino V, Riva A, Petrangolini G, Faliva MA, Peroni G, Naso M, Nichetti M, Spadaccini D, Gasparri C, Perna S. Polycystic ovary syndrome management: a review of the possible amazing role of berberine. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2020 Jan;301(1):53-60. doi: 10.1007/s00404-020-05450-4. Epub 2020 Feb 14. PMID: 32060683; PMCID: PMC7028834.
  5. Wei W, Zhao H, Wang A, Sui M, Liang K, Deng H, Ma Y, Zhang Y, Zhang H, Guan Y. A clinical study on the short-term effect of berberine in comparison to metformin on the metabolic characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Jan;166(1):99-105. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0616. Epub 2011 Oct 21. PMID: 22019891.
Can Berberine and Metformin be used for PCOS? (4 Benefits)
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