Can You Combine Berberine And Inositol Together?

In this blog, we will discuss Berberine and Inositol, two organic compounds with significant therapeutic potential. We will explore their benefits, from their role in managing diabetes and cardiovascular disease to their impact on mental health and neurodegenerative disorders. We will also discuss the potential interactions when these compounds are combined.
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

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What is Berberine?

Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid, an organic compound of plant origin, found, among other plants, in Coptis sp., Berberis sp., Hydrastis canadensis and many other species [1, 2, 3, 4]. This natural compound has a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic treatment of a myriad of ailments, including bacterial gastroenteritis and diarrhoea [5].

What does Berberine do?

Berberine possesses a broad spectrum of pharmacological actions. Previous studies showed its high therapeutic potential against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, bacteria and virus infections, mental disease, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis, among others [1, 6].

In diabetes, berberine has been demonstrated to reduce fasting blood glucose, haemoglobin A1C (a blood sugar marker), inflammatory cytokines, and markers of oxidative stress; it also increases insulin secretion and improves insulin sensitivity [7].

Furthermore, berberine possesses neuroprotective effects as well. Studies found that it protects neurons against apoptosis (programmed cell death), oxidative (free radical) and inflammatory stress, potentially useful for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders [8, 9].

Moreover, berberine showed strong antimicrobial activity against multiple organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminths and chlamydia [4].

Berberine has been shown to prevent the proliferation of different kinds of cancer and impede invasion and metastasis [10, 2].

What is Inositol?

Inositol is an organic compound of vital importance promptly distributed everywhere in nature [11]. It is a cyclic polyol (an alcohol with the characteristic of a sugar), which occurs in two dominant, but differentiated, stereoisomers D-chiro-inositol (myo-inositol in your blood at a serum ratio of 40:1) and myo-inositol [11]. Myo-inositol is one of the five natural stereoisomers of inositol [12]. It is a common six-carbon sugar with unique biochemical and psychotherapeutic properties [13, 14].

What does Inositol do?

Inositol and its derivatives are constituent parts of the intracellular structural phospholipids of cell membranes, as well as precursors of the second messengers of many metabolic pathways [1, 2]. It is also involved in ion channel permeability, metabolic homeostasis, mRNA export and translation, cytoskeleton remodelling and stress response [15, 16].

Inositol is essential to phenotypic transitions and developmental stages, and dysfunctions in the regulation of inositol metabolism are implicated in the genesis of chronic disease [15, 16]. It is also important in neuronal signalling, and osmoregulation and has shown initial therapeutic promise in studies of depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder [13, 14].

Inositol is essential to signal transduction in response to neurotransmitters, hormones and growth factors in the brain, kidneys, testes and ovaries, and other tissues and organs [17]. Inositol also figures in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, hypothyroidism and other metabolic and hormonal problems [11, 12].

Can you combine Berberine and Inositol together?

In light of the available studies, there is no certain evidence that combining Berberine and Inositol will be harmful or beneficial. Both compounds have been studied in combination with other substances only, but not with each other.

Berberine, when combined with resveratrol, has been shown to work better with the reduction of serum total cholesterol by 27.4% and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol by 31.6% in mice on a high-fat diet [18]. Inositol, in combination with alpha lipoic acid, has been shown to increase insulin, or improve insulin sensitivity, thus decreasing insulin resistance [19].

However, these studies were done with combinations of various drugs, not Berberine and Inositol together – so while both Berberine and Inositol have been better than placebo when combined with other drugs, people can’t be sure if these benefits would transfer when Berberine is taken with Inositol.

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Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.