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Has anyone tried berberine for allergies?

Discussion in 'Mast Cell Disorders/Mastocytosis' started by triffid113, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    My doc put me on berberine for cholesterol and I started reading up on it and find it does some impressive things. I have not tried it yet because I misplaced the bottle (so many pills, it could be hiding in plain sight - sigh.) But berberine even appears to have effect on allergies:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576911003067
    Berberine inhibits the production of thymic stromal lymphopoietin by the blockade of caspase-1/NF-κB pathway in mast cells

    Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays a pivotal role in allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, it has not been clarified the effect of berberine (BER) on the production of TSLP yet. Thus, we investigated how BER inhibits the production of TSLP in the human mast cell line (HMC-1) cells. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay, and Western blot analysis to investigate the effects of BER. BER inhibited the production and mRNA expression of TSLP in HMC-1 cells. BER also inhibited the nuclear factor-κB luciferase activity induced by phorbol myristate acetate plus A23187. BER inhibited the activation of caspase-1 in HMC-1 cells. Furthermore, BER inhibited the production of TSLP in primary mast cells. These results provide evidence that BER can help to treat inflammatory and atopic diseases through the inhibition of TSLP.

    And this one is even MORE interesting! (It may be JUST what I was looking for to prevent any stroke caused by allergies raising PAF):
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674910014235
    Food allergy herbal formula 2 protection against peanut anaphylactic reaction is via inhibition of mast cells and basophils

    Mast cells and basophils are key effector cells of IgE-mediated anaphylactic reactions. The Chinese herbal formula, food allergy herbal formula 2 (FAHF-2), protects against peanut anaphylaxis in mice. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect are not fully elucidated.
    Objective

    To investigate whether FAHF-2 inhibits mast cell/basophil numbers and IgE-mediated activation.
    Methods

    Mice with peanut allergy (PNA mice) were treated with FAHF-2 intragastrically for 7 weeks and challenged intragastrically with peanut 1 day and 4 weeks posttreatment. Peripheral blood basophil numbers and peritoneal mast cell numbers and FcεRI expression were determined. Direct effects of FAHF-2 on the murine mast cell line MC/9, and effects of 4 fractions and 3 compounds isolated from FAHF-2 on rat basophilic leukemia cells (RBL-2H3) and human skin mast cells degranulation and on the IgE-mediated spleen tyrosine kinase signaling pathway, were determined.
    Results

    Although all sham-treated PNA mice developed anaphylaxis, FAHF-2–treated PNA mice were protected against anaphylaxis after peanut challenge at 1 day and 4 weeks posttherapy. Reduction of peripheral blood basophils began after 1 week of treatment and continued for at least 4 weeks posttherapy. The number and FcεRI expression of peritoneal mast cells were also significantly decreased 4 weeks posttherapy. FAHF-2–treated MC/9 cells showed significantly reduced IgE-induced FcεRI expression, FcεRI γ mRNA subunit expression, proliferation, and histamine release on challenge. Fraction 2 from FAHF-2 inhibited RBL-2H3 cell and human mast cell degranulation. Three compounds from fraction 2—berberine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine—inhibited RBL-2H3 cell degranulation via suppressing spleen tyrosine kinase phosphorylation.
    Conclusion

    Food allergy herbal formula 2 reduction of basophils and mast cell numbers as well as suppression of IgE-mediated mast cell activation may contribute to FAHF-2's persistent protection against peanut anaphylaxis.
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I just started it today!
  3. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    I'm taking it at the mo. think it has effect on gut flora as well as inflammation.
  4. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    Here is an interesting article summarizing the benefits of berberine:

    Berberine appears to have potent therapeutic effects in diabetes; it appears to have similar potency to some pharmaceuticals.

    Berberine has been isolated from various anti-diabetic plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Berberine has various mechanisms of action, but tends to be known as an AMPK activator; alongside AMPK activation, berberine also exerts anti-inflammatory effects, benefits to intestinal health and integrity, possible synergism with anti-depressant medications, lipid and cholesterol lowering effects, and strong anti-diabetic effects. [So forskohlii raises cAMP which raised AMPK, this goes straight to raising AMPK and merrily, merrily, merrily down the stream].

    The anti-diabetic effects of berberine are the most well-researched, and are partly due to AMPK activation; PTP1B inhibition, which reduces glucose production in the liver, may also contribute, as well as berberine's anti-inflammatory effects. Comparative research in both animals and humans (as well as one meta-analysis on humans) demonstrate that the anti-diabetic effects of 1500mg of Berberine taken in three doses of 500mg appear to be equal to those of 1500mg Metformin or 4mg Glibenclamide in terms of reducing biomarkers of type 2 diabetes. Berberine is one of the few compounds in Examine's database to have human evidence to establish it to be as effective as pharmaceuticals.

    Berberine is also sometimes recommended for diabetes prevention and therapy, as it does not appear to cause increased body fat as a side effect (associated with Glibenclamide) and may actually reduce body fat. It may also be preferred due to being seen as a "natural" therapeutic option for persons who choose not to use pharmaceuticals (fallacious thinking, but still a topic that needs to be addressed).

    Additionally, due to the mechanism of action being AMPK activation, berberine exhibits fairly potent lipid-lowering effects (similar to Metformin), and via other unrelated mechanisms also reduces circulating cholesterol levels; these side effects make berberine desirable for reducing the risk of cardiac complications associated with diabetes.
    There are also some less-proven but promising effects associated with berberine supplementation that may protect against diabetic cardiomyopathy and diabetic nephropathy.
    Berberine, in short, is an effective anti-diabetes agent that also extends its benefits to persons who do not have diabetes but may have an excess of body fat and rising glucose, triglyceride, or cholesterol levels. Current evidence suggests that it is side-effect free aside from gastrointestinal distress if too much is taken at once, and comparable in potency to two commonly used pharmaceuticals in diabetes treatment (Metformin mostly, with some evidence suggesting comparability to Glibenclamide).​
    Berberine has many other mechanisms of action that are of interest but are less studied at the moment. At very low doses (1.6mg/kg equivalent to humans, but currently untested) it appears to augment the efficacy of many anti-depressants, possibly by a novel receptor class known as sigma receptors (which are actually the molecular target of the hallucinogen DMT, but berberine is unlikely to cause any trips). It is neuroprotective if taken prior to neurological stressors (although some evidence suggests it should not be used in a rehabilitative manner).

    It can enhance glucose and lipid uptake into fat cells while simultaneously suppressing their proliferation, which exerts theoretically powerful anti-obesity effects; currently only two studies have reported fat mass changes over time with berberine, and the amount of fat loss seen over 12 weeks with 1500mg Berberine ranged from 3.6-13% of total body weight. It does appear to work in humans, but the magnitude of benefit is not yet ascertained. Additionally, it might attenuate some fat-burning effects despite these anti-obesity effects, although this has not yet been demonstrated in a living model (berberine may attenuate the rate of weight gain without conferring much inherent weight-loss benefit).

    Berberine can also reverse insulin resistance on muscle cells and promote both glucose and lipid uptake into the muscle cells. Unfortunately, the mechanism of action that mediates this (AMPK activation) also appears to suppress muscle growth and may actually reduce muscle mass according to one rodent study. Genetically ablating one protein (atrogin-1) reverses this suppression of muscle growth, and thus berberine has potential to be a potent body recomposition agent, pending future research. The interactions with exercise are unknown, but it is theoretically possible that resistance training or contracting muscle tissues can attenuate or reverse these losses.
    Berberine may also have anti-depressant effects (although at a dose much lower than the other claims, and possibly with no effect at the standard dose of 1500mg daily), fat loss effects, and questionable interactions with skeletal muscle. These claims are not as proven as the aforementioned health benefits.​
    Things to Note

    • Due to AMPK inhibition, berberine is normoglycemic (reduces blood sugar only if elevated). However, the reduction in blood sugar from berberine may make other hypoglyemics more likely to cause reduced blood sugar
    • High doses of berberine taken acutely, due to their poor intestinal uptake rate, may cause cramping and diarhhea; for this reason, berberine should be taken in multiple doses throughout the day
    • Berberine is known to inhibit CYP2D6 and CYP3A4
    • Berberine is known to induce the protein concent of P-glycoprotein
    Goes Well With

    • P-glycoprotein (P-Gp) inhibitors increase absorption rate, with Milk Thistle demonstrated in humans and Stephania tetrandra being promising
    • Sodium caprate (increases absorption, not related to P-Glycoprotein)
    • Atrogin-1 inhibition (theoretically reverses the possible degradation of lean mass associated with AMPK activation into synthesis)
  5. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    On the Ray Sahelian site, people were writing in saying that 1g/day berberine takes care of joint pain but less does not work for them. (Joint pain can be an allergy...well arthritis is an allergy anyway).

    I also read a study that it lowered ACE (I am ACE +/+ and as expected I have a lot of problem with this - it is what makes me always tense).

    So, for instance, here:
    Vascul Pharmacol. 2002 Dec;39(6):281-6.
    Effects of berberine on angiotensin-converting enzyme and NO/cGMP system in vessels.

    Kang DG, Sohn EJ, Kwon EK, Han JH, Oh H, Lee HS.
    The present study was designed to examine the relaxant and anticonstrictive effects of berberine in the isolated thoracic aorta in rats. Intravenous injection of berberine lowered the mean arterial pressure (MAP) of anesthesized rats in a dose-dependent manner. The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activities were inhibited significantly by the addition of berberine in a dose-dependent manner of which the IC50 value of berberine for ACE was 42 micrograms/ml (125 microM). In the endothelium-intact rings, angiotensin I-induced contraction was markedly attenuated by prior exposure of aortic rings to berberine. Treatment of the intact aortic rings with berberine (10 micrograms/ml) increased the NOx and cGMP productions relative to the vehicle-treated group. Berberine induced a dose-dependent relaxation in phenylephrine-precontracted aortic rings, but NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)-pretreated intact aortic rings or functional removal of the endothelium attenuated the berberine-induced relaxation without an effect on maximum response. These results suggest that berberine has a hypotensive effect, at least in part, via the inhibition of ACE and direct release of NO/cGMP in the vascular tissues.

    ----

    I know there are a lot of people here with OI. idk know if berberine lowers bp below normal, but I always try these things myself. So, for instance, I am hypoglycemic and berberine lowers blood sugar, but I plan to try it. If it makes me get low blood sugar then I will reevaluate all my supplements for those which can cause low blood sugar and choose among them. It seems that with berberine I get many needed benefits with one pill so I might choose it even if I have to stop another. So far the only supplement I find I cannot tolerate due to lowering blood sugar is alpha lipoic acid > 100mg.
  6. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    I should have published this summary - it's more concise:
    http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/Berberine.htm

    Actions of Berberine:

    • 1. Broad-spectrum anti-microbial: (1-6, 60)
      Berberine has been found to be an effective against:
    • Chlamydia
    • Candida (multiple species)
    • E. coli
    • Salmonella typhi
    • Entamoeba histolytica
    • Staphylococcus aureus
    • Streptococcus sanguis
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    • Helicobacter pylori
    • other Gram-positive bacteria and fungi
    • Some studies suggest that goldenseal may also be effective against viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminths (worms) and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
      aureus)
    • 2. Blood sugar regulation / diabetes type II. Some studies have shown that berberine lowers blood sugar as effectively as the diabetes drug metformin. (7-18)
    • 3. Cholesterol-lowering effects. Studies show lipid-lowering effects on total cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol. (19-26)
    • 4. Cardiac effects. Berbeine has been found to have anti-arrhythmic effects and may also be useful for CHF (congestive heart failure). (27-34)
    • 5. Anti-cancer effects. Berberine has been found to have anti-neoplastic effects against a wide variety of cancer cell types including brain, bladder, breast, bone, colon, liver, lung, prostate, skin cancer and leukemia. (35-59)
  7. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    Berberine is an antagonist of platelet activating factor (PAF).

    Studies say berberine lowers COX-II, TNF-α, iNOS, IL-6, and raises IL-12.

    One review says berberine has protective effect in Alzheimer's, cerebral ischemia, mental depression, schizophrenia and anxiety but that "more study is needed".

    Berberine can scavange ONOO (as do other alkaloids found in Coptidis Rhizoma).

    And this sounds like it raises serotonin and dopamine, at least if they are lowered:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18585703
    Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jul 28;589(1-3):163-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.05.043. Epub 2008 Jun 3.
    On the mechanism of antidepressant-like action of berberine chloride.

    Kulkarni SK, Dhir A.
    Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from Berberis aristata Linn. has been used in the Indian system of medicines as a stomachic, bitter tonic, antiamoebic and also in the treatment of oriental sores. Evidences have demonstrated that berberine possesses central nervous system activities, particularly the ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase-A, an enzyme involved in the degradation of norepinephrine and serotonin (5-HT). With this background, the present study was carried out to elucidate the antidepressant-like effect of berberine chloride in different behavioural paradigms of despair. Berberine (5, 10, 20 mg/kg, i.p.) inhibited the immobility period in mice in both forced swim and tail-suspension test, however, the effect was not dose-dependent. Berberine (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) also reversed the reserpine-induced behavioral despair. Berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) enhanced the anti-immobility effect of subeffective doses of various typical but not atypical antidepressant drugs in forced swim test. Berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) following its acute administration in mice resulted in increased levels of norepinephrine (31%), serotonin (47%) and dopamine (31%) in the whole brain. Chronic administration of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) for 15 days significantly increased the levels of norepinephrine (29%), serotonin (19%) as well as dopamine (52%) but at higher dose (10 mg/kg, i.p.), there was no change in the norepinephrine (12%) levels but a significant increase in the serotonin (53%) and dopamine (31%) levels was found. The antidepressant-like effect of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) in forced swim test was prevented by pretreatment with l-arginine (750 mg/kg, i.p.) or sildenafil (5 mg/kg, i.p.). On the contrary, pretreatment of mice with 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) (25 mg/kg, i.p.) or methylene blue (10 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the effect of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) in the forced swim test. Pretreatment of mice with (+)-pentazocine (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.), a high-affinity sigma1 receptor agonist, produced synergism with subeffective dose of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.). Pretreatment with various sigma receptor antagonists viz. progesterone (10 mg/kg, s.c.), rimcazole (5 mg/kg, i.p.) and N-[2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]-N-methyl-2-(dimethylamino)ethylamine (BD1047; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the anti-immobility effects of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Berberine at lower dose did not affect the locomotor activity and barbiturate-induced sleep time. It produced mild hypothermic action in rats and displayed analgesic effect in mice. Taken together, theses findings demonstrate that berberine exerted antidepressant-like effect in various behavioural paradigms of despair possibly by modulating brain biogenic amines (norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine). Further, nitric oxide pathway and/or sigma receptors are involved in mediating its antidepressant-like activity in mouse forced swim test.
  8. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    triffid113

    I take berberine specifically for inflammation but find it a plus that it is such an all-round helpful herb. My allergies are less but I don't know whether it is berberine contributing to that or some other aspect of my treatment.

    Sushi
  9. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    What dose do you take, Sushi? I g/day or 1/2g/day or ? Thanks!
  10. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I am only taking 500 mg a day--doc's suggestion. But that was for inflammation.

    Sushi
  11. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    Ok, for me it is not so simple...for one thing I don't remember if the doc told me a dose. His concern is cholesterol and idk the dose for that. For allergies it appears to be 1g/day, but I don't want to gain weight so I'd rather see what help I can get from cAMP (forskohlii) and add AMPK (berberine) is a low dose. I wonder why these affect weight -- seems weird.

    I actually made som eentries about berberine in the forskohlii topic if anyone is interested...some bits about the mechanism. I wanted to hear from Alex who was in that thread. He is concerned that both cAMP and AMPK use ATP.
  12. triffid113

    triffid113 Day of the Square Peg

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    Note: berberine is a COX-2 inhibitor. It can cause stomach bleeding. It hurt my stomach so I find I cannot take it. It appears that resveratrol can also raise AMPK so might be worth a look.

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