Berberine Increases Oxytocin Production


Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus and released into the circulatory system by the pituitary gland. It functions to facilitate childbirth in women by stimulating muscle contraction in the uterus. Once the baby is born, oxytocin helps with milk “let down” by moving milk from the ducts in the breast to the nipple.  This hormone facilitates the bond between the mother and baby and is also produced in both men and women when they fall in love.  Thus, oxytocin is nicknamed the “love hormone.”    

In a paper published in 2019, researchers looked at how berberine may be considered as a potential help withdrawal from methamphetamine (METH) addiction by examining the modulation of oxytocin receptors.

The researchers looked at rats that were coming off an addiction to METH for three weeks.  Only one group received 100 mg/kg of berberine per day. 

Results showed that this group had an average of 18% more oxytocin receptors in their hippocampus, which was the same as the control group who were not addicted to METH. 

While it was not the purpose of this study, I would have liked to have seen how the oxytocin receptors increased in a group who was given berberine but was not addicted to METH.

This mirrors the study we looked at last year comparing berberine with diazepam (aka valium) as a sleep aid. Here, researchers found that berberine increased serotonin 47% and increased dopamine by about 30% which led to it outperforming valium in promoting sleep.

Because of this, berberine is a significant part of our sleep formula, SleepElite.  I take both one BerbElite in the morning after breakfast and two BerbElites and one SleepElite at night before bed. I do not have trouble sleeping and I do not have mood issues.  I take them to keep it that way.  But I do notice better sleep when I take these before bed. 

The issue with berberine is that it is only 0.68% bioavailable.  Regular berberine impacts serotonin and dopamine production in the gut.  But to impact the brain, berberine needs to cross the gut barrier and get into the bloodstream, which regular berberine cannot do in a concentration that makes a biological difference. 

Our formula, BerbElite is on sale currently for 25% off with a subscription.  And for more information on what’s in SleepElite, click here.

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