Berberine: A Natural Way to Support Your Heart in Menopause 

by JJ Virgin on February 1, 2024

Heart disease is a top cause of death among women. The risk increases during menopause for several reasons, an important one being lower estrogen levels.1 

Estrogen supports heart health by raising “good” cholesterol and lowering “bad” cholesterol.2 It also helps control body weight and blood sugar.3  

Lower estrogen levels can lead to problems like more belly fat, less insulin sensitivity, and higher blood sugar.4  These and other factors can put you at a higher risk of heart disease during menopause. 

A Plant Compound to Support Heart Health  

Along with a protein-first diet and strength training, the right nutrients can support heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease during menopause. One of them is berberine.  

Berberine is a natural compound found in plants like goldenseal. It helps balance estrogen by supporting the activity of liver enzymes responsible for estrogen metabolism.5  

This balance plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of health problems related to estrogen, including heart disease. Here are six ways berberine can protect your heart during menopause.  

1. Berberine Supports Blood Sugar 

Maintaining stable blood-sugar levels is critical for heart health. High blood sugar can contribute to insulin resistance, where your body's cells don't respond effectively to this important hormone. Insulin resistance can increase your risk of heart disease.6 

Studies show berberine can promote healthy blood-sugar and insulin levels by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood glucose.7 This blood-sugar-balancing effect can help reduce the risk of plaque in your arteries.8 

2. Berberine Supports Weight Loss 

About 60-70% of women gain weight during menopause. This weight gain often comes as visceral fat, a dangerous kind of fat that can raise the risk of heart disease.9 

Berberine can support a healthy weight. Its blood-sugar-regulating effect may reduce sugar cravings and control your hunger.10 Berberine also activates an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which supports your body in utilizing stored fat for energy, helping you to be a better fat burner.11 

3. Berberine Normalizes Cholesterol 

Cholesterol, or your lipid profile, is categorized into several types:  

  • HDL, or “good” cholesterol: Removes excess cholesterol from your bloodstream, reducing the risk of artery plaque and heart disease.  
  • LDL, or “bad” cholesterol: Transports cholesterol to cells. This can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.   
  • Triglycerides: A type of fat. High levels can raise the risk of heart disease. 

High LDL, high triglycerides, and low HDL levels create an unhealthy lipid profile, reducing blood flow and increasing the likelihood of heart problems.12 Berberine can support a healthier lipid profile in menopause by normalizing cholesterol levels, which may lower your risk of heart disease.13 

4. Berberine Helps Lower Blood Pressure  

High blood pressure is a risk for heart disease because it makes your heart and blood vessels work harder. This can make your arteries narrower and less flexible. Your heart can't pump blood as effectively this way, raising the risk of problems like heart attacks.14 

Berberine can help by relaxing blood vessels and supporting healthy blood-pressure levels.15 

5. Berberine Lowers Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation is involved in many diseases, including heart disease.16 This type of inflammation damages blood vessels and causes plaque buildup in your arteries.17  

Studies show that berberine can stop inflammatory pathways throughout your body.18 

6. Berberine Is an Antioxidant 

Oxidative stress happens when there are too many harmful molecules called free radicals, and the imbalance means your body can't manage them with the antioxidants it makes on its own. This can damage blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and plaque and raising heart disease risk.19  

Berberine is an antioxidant, stopping free radicals in their tracks and lowering the oxidative stress in your heart and blood vessels.20 

Broad-Range Support for Heart Health 

Berberine benefits heart health by reducing risk factors for heart disease and protecting against damage via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. This can be especially helpful during menopause when heart-related issues become more common.  

Combining berberine with other nutrients like alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) enhances its effectiveness. ALA is a versatile antioxidant that supports overall cell energy metabolism and provides comprehensive antioxidant support inside and outside cells.21 I recommend Berberine Synergy from Designs for Health, which combine both of these nutrients to help you achieve healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.*


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  1. Healthline: Cholesterol and Menopause: What's the Relationship? 
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  1. American Heart Association: How High Blood Pressure Can Lead to a Heart Attack 
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  1. Furman D, Campisi J, Verdin E, Carrera-Bastos P, Targ S, Franceschi C, Ferrucci L, Gilroy DW, Fasano A, Miller GW, Miller AH, Mantovani A, Weyand CM, Barzilai N, Goronzy JJ, Rando TA, Effros RB, Lucia A, Kleinstreuer N, Slavich GM. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span. Nat Med. 2019 Dec;25(12):1822-1832. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0675-0. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 31806905; PMCID: PMC7147972. 
  1. Henein MY, Vancheri S, Longo G, Vancheri F. The Role of Inflammation in Cardiovascular Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 26;23(21):12906. doi: 10.3390/ijms232112906. PMID: 36361701; PMCID: PMC9658900. 
  1. Science Direct: Therapeutic effect of berberine on metabolic diseases 
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  1. Nguyen H, Gupta V. Alpha-Lipoic Acid. 2022 Sep 26. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 33231971. 

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.   

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.   

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