Among the dozens of health-promoting phytonutrients available in whole foods, one of the most researched is berberine. Traditional medicine practitioners in the East have used berberine for centuries as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and more. What was not known until recently, however, is how berberine can help to heal and prevent cancer as well, including Breast Cancer.
Berberine is a Powerful Alkaloid
Alkaloids are unique among phytonutrients. They are “nitrogen-bearing.” This means that they contain basic nitrogen which is adhered to certain amino acids. Each kind of alkaloid is different. In fact, there are seven broad groupings of alkaloids found in plants, all of which have different effects on the body. Most alkaloids are super healing agents when taken in the right dosage. An example of alkaloids that you are familiar with is morphine and caffeine.
Berberine is a bitter alkaloid found in the stems, roots, bark, and rhizomes of plants such as the Oregon grape, European barberry, Chinese goldenthread, and tree goldenseal. According to Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND, berberine is best known as a “bitter digestive stimulant, gastrointestinal tonic, antimicrobial [and] immune stimulant.”
Berberine and Metabolism
Berberine is also unique among alkaloids in that it is one of the only substances which has the ability to activate an important enzyme in the body called AMPK. AMPK is known as the “metabolic master switch.” It controls how energy is produced and used by cells.
For years, research such as that conducted at Brigham Young University has found that berberine can regulate AMPK in those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
A 2008 study conducted by Pennington Biomedical Research Center in conjunction with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine found that the substance acted much like the diabetes drug Metformin. They stated that “berberine is a potent oral hypoglycemic agent with beneficial effects on lipid metabolism.”
Berberine and Cancer
Berberine has also shown itself to be a powerful cancer-protective. This is in part because it has the ability to stop tumor growth by affecting cancer metabolism.
A 2015 study conducted by Lanzhou University in China took a look at the effect berberine had on Breast Cancer. They found that mechanisms within it reprogrammed Breast Cancer cell metabolism in large part through antioxidant activation of AMPK. When AMPK pathways are functioning in a healthy way, this kicks in aerobic respiration in cells. Of course, this also means a death sentence for cancer!
Berberine affects cancer directly in other ways as well. It can affect the WNT/B-Catenin pathway in cancer cells. This can trigger cancer cell death, according to a 2014 report published in the European Journal of Pharmacology.
Recent research also indicates that this powerful phytonutrient may affect the growth of cancer stem cells. Other research has shown that berberine may be even more effective at targeting invasive Breast Cancer cells when used in combination with curcumin in particular.
The growing list of metabolic and cancer-fighting benefits in berberine makes it one of the most powerful natural substances in the world. And, of course, it can also be a strong ally for you on your Healthy Breast journey!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror.com and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here