Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Nov 10 ;133:110984. Epub 2020 Nov 10. PMID: 33186794
Therapeutic effect of berberine on metabolic diseases: Both pharmacological data and clinical evidence.
The increased incidence of metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes and obesity) has seriously affected human health and life safety worldwide. It is of great significance to find effective drugs from natural compounds to treat metabolic diseases. Berberine (BBR), an important quaternary benzylisoquinoline alkaloid, exists in many traditional medicinal plants. In recent years, BBR has received widespread attention due to its good potential in the treatment of metabolic diseases. In order to promote the basic research and clinical application of BBR, this review provides a timely and comprehensive summary of the pharmacological and clinical advances of BBR in the treatment of five metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hyperlipidemia, and gout. Both animal and clinical studies have proved that BBR has good therapeutic effects on these five metabolic diseases. The therapeutic effects of BBR are based on regulating various metabolic aspects and pathophysiological procedures. For example, it can promote insulin secretion, improve insulin resistance, inhibit lipogenesis, alleviate adipose tissue fibrosis, reduce hepatic steatosis, and improve gut microbiota disorders. Collectively, BBR may be a good and promising drug candidate for the treatment of metabolic diseases. More studies, especially clinical trials, are needed to further confirm its molecular mechanisms and targets. In addition, large-scale, long-term and multi-center clinical trials are necessary to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BBR in the treatment of these metabolic diseases.