Berberine is a naturally occurring compound found in several plants, including Berberis vulgaris (barberry). It has been shown to have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, glucose-reducing, and sleep-improving properties.
I recently found a remarkable study out of China showing berberine extending lifespan by 80% in a mouse model. In the study, mice were given chemotherapy to artificially age them. The mice that did not have berberine lived 85 days, while the mice that had berberine lived 152 days. Given that chemotherapy is known to produce senescent cells, which are aged cells that kill other cells around them, it is thought that berberine has a senolytic effect in killing these toxic cells.
One of the other ways berberine may do this is by activating an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK is a key regulator of cellular energy metabolism, and it plays a critical role in maintaining cellular homeostasis and protecting cells against stress.
Activation of AMPK has been shown to have a number of benefits for aging-related processes, including:
- Improving mitochondrial function: Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles in cells, and their dysfunction has been linked to aging and age-related diseases. Activation of AMPK can improve mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress, which is a key contributor to aging.
- Reducing inflammation: Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of aging, and it is associated with the development of a range of age-related diseases. AMPK activation can reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.
- Enhancing autophagy: Autophagy is a process by which cells degrade and recycle damaged proteins and organelles. It is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis and preventing the accumulation of damaged cellular components that can contribute to aging. AMPK activation has been shown to enhance autophagy, thereby promoting cellular health and longevity.
Berberine's senolytic properties and its ability to activate AMPK and improve mitochondrial function, reduce inflammation, and enhance autophagy likely all contribute to its potential as an anti-aging compound.
But less than 1% of berberine actually gets through the gut barrier due to it’s fat-soluble properties. The Mara Labs BerbElite makes the berberine bioavailable by getting it past the gut barrier into the bloodstream.
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