Berberine is a natural compound extracted from plant species like the Oregon Grape, European Barberry, Goldenseal, and Indian barberry, which is among the most powerful herbal supplements available today.
This compound is easily most popular as an anti-diabetic weapon. Berberine reduces blood sugar levels as effectively as some pharmaceutical drugs, while also lowering insulin successfully. It achieves this by interacting with various enzymes like adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK).
However, berberine also has promising anti-inflammatory powers. It reduces the activity of numerous pro-inflammatory immune system agents, such as turmour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Barberries and Oregon grapes have long been consumed for their anti-inflammatory benefits.
But which is the best berberine brand? That’s what we’ll discuss today. With berberine’s rising popularity, you always have to be cautious for additive-filled or ineffective brands.
Before we begin, a warning. While berberine has the honour of a mountain of evidence, being one of the most proven herbal supplements in existence, it also interacts with numerous medications due to its effect on detoxification enzymes. If you take any medications, avoid berberine, or consult with a doctor first.
Always consult with a doctor before taking berberine anyway, and discontinue supplementation if you notice any side effects. For a shortcut, aSquared Nutrition and Vivorigins are the best brands here.
Let’s get started:
One – aSquared Nutrition
If berberine is what you need, then aSquared Nutrition meets every requirement, starting with its high capsule count of 180 capsules. The ingredients list is very pure, with only the harmless gelatin and rice flour as the additives. ASquared Nutrition contains no magnesium stearate, corn, soy or GMOs.
Each capsule contains 450mg, close to the exact capsule dosage used in the amazing studies on diabetes. The berberine itself is in the optimal berberine hydrochloride form, and extracted from Indian barberry (berberis aristata).
ASquared Nutrition is also among the most trustworthy supplement brands, which should be a default search if you’re looking for a herb or vitamin; their ceylon cinnamon and saw palmetto products are very pure. This berberine also has a 30 day money back guarantee.
Finally, aSquared Nutrition is manufactured in the USA, in a factory which complies with the Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP) code.
ASquared Nutrition has no flaws, and every feature a berberine could supplement need.
Amazon link: aSquared Nutrition Pure Berberine (links to Thorne Research for UK and Canada).
Two – Thorne Research
Firstly, Thorne Research’s berberine meets every requirement itself. It’s extracted from Indian barberry root (berberis aristata), in the berberine hydrochloride form. The dosage is 500mg per capsule, which is identical to the standard per capsule dosage tested in blood sugar studies (which now repeat the same dosage so that the scientists can all compare the results with each other).
The capsule count is 60, while the additives are all safe, including leucine, silicon dioxide, the hypromellose capsule, and microcrystalline cellulose. There’s no magnesium stearate, soy, or corn to be found in Thorne Research.
As for the amazing purity, Thorne Research tests every single raw material and every single finished batch of product for contamination with all sorts of harmful substances, including chemical solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides. 15% of Thorne Research’s staff are dedicated to quality control alone.
The berberine is even tested for stability, to guarantee that the berberine is as powerful on the expiration date as the moment it came off of the factory line. Thorne Research tests 1900 raw materials in their laboratory every year. The final advantage is that Thorne Research is made in the USA, in a GMP compliant facility. A small downside is that the capsule count is lower than aSquared Nutrition.
If purity and guaranteed potency is important to you, then Thorne Research is unbeatable.
Amazon link: Thorne Research Berberine Capsules.
Three – Divine Bounty
Divine Bounty is nearly unbeatable for purity, with the ingredients list simply reading “vegetarian capsule, non-GMO plant cellulose“. The product is explicitly free from any corn, soy, magnesium stearate, or GMOs. Each bottle contains 60 capsules for a two month supply, while each capsule contains 600mg of berberine, an above average dosage compared to the usual 500mg.
Specifically, Divine Bounty’s berberine is extracted from the berberis aristata root. Berberis aristata is the botanical name of the Indian barberry, or tree turmeric, a separate subspecies to the European barberry. The plant has many traditional usages, with an Indian barberry tincture being used for gargling and oral health, and a paste being favoured for wound healing.
Most importantly, the root of the plant is rich in berberine, and the majority of berberine supplements manufactured today come from berberis aristata, including Divine Bounty. This brand is also in the standard berberine hydrochloride (HCL) form.
Divine Bounty is a pure and focussed berberine supplement, free from the bonus ingredients of some supplements like cinnamon and chromium. Divine Bounty is also manufactured in the USA, in an FDA-inspected facility.
If you want a trusted and reliable berberine brand, Divine Bounty cannot be beaten.
Amazon link: Divine Bounty Pure Berberine Complex.
Four – Vivorigins
Quercetin is a natural flavonoid antioxidant, a promisingly healthy compound which occurs widely in foods like onions, apples and spinach, and can protect against digestive disorders. It’s included in Vivorigins to improve the berberine’s absorption. How? Berberine has a below-average absorption rate when taken orally, because it binds with glycoproteins in the gut, but quercetin was shown in a study to decrease glycoprotein activity, and therefore increase the berberine’s absorption.
You’ll also see berberine brands with a bonus helping of milk thistle, and hesperidin, an antioxidant from citrus fruits, because they’re both proven to do the same. They’ll simply say that enhanced absorption is why they’re included, but decreasing glycoprotein levels is why they work. Furthermore, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant, which can wipe out your acne.
Elsewhere, Vivorigins contains only vegetable cellulose, and a hypromellose capsule as its additives. The berberine dosage is a powerful 500mg per capsule, while the product is manufactured and packaged in the USA. Vivorigins also has a 30 day refund guarantee, while the berberine hydrochloride is extracted from Indian barberry (berberis aristata).
Vivorigins could be an extra effective berberine supplement, while keeping the purity of its competitors.
Amazon link: Vivorigins Advanced Berberine with Quercetin.
Five – We Like Vitamins
We Like Vitamins is another excellent supplement brand, selling two of the highest quality DIMs and rhodiola roseas on the market. Their berberine is powerful too, with a 450mg dosage, and a massive 180 capsule count.
This berberine follows the normal healthy blueprint, being extracted from Indian barberry roots and in the berberine HCL form. If you’re observant, you’ll notice that every supplement featured here contains berberine hydrochloride (HCL).
What’s the difference to regular berberine? There isn’t one; it’s simply the full name of the natural berberine compound extracted from plants like barberries. Berberine HCL isn’t like zinc oxide or magnesium oxide, some ineffective synthetic form of an otherwise powerful supplement. Occasionally, customers even get confused about the ingredients label saying HCL vs HCl, but there’s no difference; they’re just mistaking a lower case l for a capital I.
Anyway, We Like Vitamins is just as pure as their other brands, containing only rice flour and gelatin as the additives. Gelatin is an animal-derived jelly, consisting of amino acids like glycine, which is used to make safe capsule material. Rice flour is the most harmless filler available, the gold standard for natural supplements. This berberine is also manufactured in the USA, and comes with a no-questions asked money back guarantee for maximum security.
We Like Vitamins does everything which a high quality berberine supplement should.
Amazon link: We Like Vitamins Berberine Supplement.
Six – Health As It Ought To Be
Each capsule contains 450mg for a powerful dosage, while each bottle contains 180 capsules. There’s no magnesium stearate, corn flour, or maltodextrin to found, with only gelatin and rice flour as the additives. This brand is also made in small batches, to guarantee the berberine’s freshness.
Once more, Health As It Ought To Be’s berberine is completely natural, extracted from Indian barberry (berberis aristata) root. Are any other sources ever used? A few brands use berberine which is extracted from Oregon grapes, a blue-coloured wild grape which grows in north-western America.
The Oregon grape is an interesting plant, with possible antibacterial activities and a great study against the skin disease psoriasis, but the ten brands here only contain isolated natural berberine. Unless the form of berberine extracted from Oregon grapes (or European barberry, or goldenseal) is actually slightly structurally different and is more effective, or has superior absorption, or some other hypothetical scenario, there’s no advantage to choosing a different plant source.
Elsewhere, Health As It Ought To Be features average-sized, easy to swallow capsules. There’s also a 100% money back guarantee, in case you’re unsatisfied.
Health As It Ought To Be is another solid and pure berberine supplement brand.
Amazon link: Health As It Ought To Be Fresh Berberine.
Seven – Mental Refreshment Nutrition
Once more, each bottle contains 180 capsules and each capsule contains 450mg of berberine HCL. The additives list is also identical: rice flour and gelatin, with magnesium stearate and corn flour being absent. This is another solid supplement brand too, selling an excellent alpha lipoic acid product. Mental Refreshment is manufactured in the USA, in a GMP-compliant facility, and is quite affordable compared to other brands.
Mental Refreshment Nutrition is again extracted from the trusted old Indian barberry root. If you’re an avid acne researcher, you may be aware of the plant known as European barberry (berberis vulgaris), a different subspecies, which was once the star of a study resulting in a 45% reduction in acne. Scientists gave a dried extract of the fruit to teenagers aged 12 to 17, and after 4 weeks, their total acne lesion counts fell by 44.64%, with a placebo group experiencing no improvements.
Again, this article is focussed on isolated berberine, but it’s an interesting study for you to know about. Don’t go hunting down wild barberries though; the plant is poisonous when eaten raw. Finally, Mental Refreshment Nutrition has a trustworthy 30 day refund guarantee, giving you total security.
Mental Refreshment Nutrition is a great source of trustworthy berberine hydrochloride.
Amazon link: Mental Refreshment Berberine.
Eight – Natureganics Nutrition
The only additives in Natureganics Nutrition are silicon dioxide, vegetable cellulose, and organic rice hull concentrate, with no corn or soy included. This brand is made in the USA, while being GMP-certified and explicitly free from any GMOs.
Natureganics Nutrition comes in a 60 capsule bottle, and each capsule contains a 500mg dosage, the perfect amount. The dosage used by numerous studies to lower blood glucose, insulin and control various energy metabolism enzymes is 1500mg, using three capsules of 500mg in one day.
Interestingly, berberine is best absorbed when you spread the dosage out, and taking a high dosage like 1500mg all at once can cause intestinal discomfort and stomach upset. That’s why most doctors recommending taking two or three capsules, one for breakfast, one for dinner, and so on.
Following this classic 1500mg strategy would give you only a 20 day supply with Natureganics Nutrition, making it weaker than We Like Vitamins, but lowering the dosage will still be effective. This brand also has a regular capsule size, with some reviewers praising its easy to swallow size.
Natureganics Nutrition is a high quality supplement for anyone who’s determined to take berberine.
Amazon link: Natureganics Nutrition Berberine 500mg.
Nine – Double Woods Supplements
Double Woods Supplements contains only three things: pure berberine extracted from Indian barberry root, gelatin as a harmless capsule material, and silicon dioxide. The dosage, meanwhile, is a healthy 500mg per capsule, with the capsule count being 60.
Double Woods Supplements is also in the standard berberine hydrochloride form. Note that during your investigations, you should never confuse berberine with berberol, which is a patented formula that combines berberine with the milk thistle antioxidant silymarin. You should also avoid confusing berberine with piperine, an alkaloid derived from black pepper which enhances nutrient absorption.
Another advantage is being manufactured in the USA. Finally, Double Woods Supplements tests all of their products for purity, with a report being available for request, if you so desire.
Double Woods Supplements is a hidden berberine brand which beats almost every other one in existence.
Amazon link: Double Woods Supplements Berberine Supplement.
Ten – Healthy Alternatives
The only additives in this product are gelatin and rice flour. Once more, the berberine is extracted from natural Indian barberry roots, the plant favoured by traditional Asian Medicine for years. Each bottle contains 60 capsules while each one of those capsules contains 500mg of berberine HCL.
Healthy Alternatives is manufactured in the USA, in a factory which complies with the Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP) code. Each batch of this berberine also undergoes rigorous third party testing in a laboratory, to guarantee stability and potency.
Healthy Alternatives is also explicitly free from any GMOs, artificial chemicals and preservatives. The final advantage of Healthy Alternatives is a lengthy 60 day money back guarantee, which is easily long enough to test the supplement.
Healthy Alternatives does nothing unique for this list, but succeeds wildly regardless.
Amazon link: Healthy Alternatives Natural Berberine.
If you believe that berberine is what you need for your blood sugar or insulin problems, your way forward is now clear.
Despite having been used by Chinese doctors for thousands of years, the body of evidence for berberine has only become rock solid recently. Hence, we may see an explosion of additive-filled, poor quality berberine supplements over the coming years,..
…but as long as the brands here remain, we have a trusted roster of pure versions, and no need to buy cheap grocery store products.
Thanks for reading!