Berberine Update 2022-06-26: So... I have a... - Cure Parkinson's

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Berberine Update 2022-06-26

Bolt_Upright profile image

So... I have a High School degree. Here is what I can say: On June 26th me and 3 other people reviewed Berberine as a potential treatment for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and/or Parkinson's. I just completed writing up the notes. The notes in black font are all the good things we discovered and reviewed on our call. While putting together this review I found some potentially serious downsides to Berberine so I included notes on these issues in red font. The negatives came down to 2 rat studies and 1 in vitro study showing BBR is/could be neurotoxic at oral dosing levels [Personally, for me, the potential bad outweighs the potential good and I have removed Berberine from my stack (at least for now), Dave]. You can pull down the notes from my Google Drive here:

31 Replies

Dave, thanks much for all your time and work on this one.

I'm convinced and will stop taking it while I review all your material more thoroughly.

Now that I've reread it all, there is a lot of direct contradiction such as " We showed that treatment with berberine significantly ameliorates the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra compacta (SNc) and improves motor impairment in MPTP treated mice (12)." "... Berberine also significantly decreased the level of α-synuclein ... "

Too many to list. How do we reconcile this?


Maybe both things are true? Maybe BBR is both neuroprotective and neurotoxic?

It reminds me of that post I made showing two different studies for Butyrate, one showing it improved symptoms and one showing it made them worse :(

So should we take this as something to use, or not!

I'm sorry, I am not a doctor (and I don't think the doctors agree). Maybe it is safe if you cycle it every other week? It SEEMS that if you take it every day (like I have been) it will build up in your brain to a level that MIGHT be neurotoxic.

When these papers end with "further long term studies for dosage and safety are needed", it means the experts just don't have the answers. We are the test subjects (if we choose to be).

For me, it is off my list. But I have not been diagnosed with PD (except by Marc). Although, my lack of diagnosis does not make me want to save neurons any less. I will keep circling back.

For example, both of these statements can't be true,

"...berberine aggravates the degeneration of dopaminergic neuron in the substantia nigra..." and "...berberine significantly ameliorates the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra..."

Zen paradox, guys...maybe a bit more exploration is needed. Put it on the maybe shelf...

Thanks again Dave. I too have just stopped taking it thanks to you. Very grateful for your generous research

Thanks. Just remember I: Have a HS degree, am not very smart, and am prone to error :)

Hopefully we all got some benefit from Berberine and now we are pausing at just the right time.

Just started, and with a modest intake 500mg per day, with the intention to extend it to 750 mg. Going to keep going. Will have to take some protective action though.

Our results also suggest that memantine, a clinically available NMDA receptor antagonist, may be used to protect neurons against BBR toxicity..

So going to up intake of Zinc and Magnesium, potent antagonist of the NMDA complex

And it seems that curcumin also protects against abnormal NMDA-R activation in disease conditions. This is already in the stack.

Can also switch out to Metformin on weekends for a break, while preserving most of the Berberine benefits.

I too have a high school diploma, and I know just enough to be dangerous 🤯

Qualifier: I am not smart.

So... it does occur to me that IF BBR is not very bio-available AND it takes awhile (I don't know how long) to build up in the CSF/Brain and start doing damage, THEN it would seem to MAYBE be safe to take BBR sporadically. Maybe 1 week out of the month? Maybe 2 days out of the month? But then would you get any benefit? Maybe for autophagy? Maybe something to take AFTER a fast? I don't know. It is still off my stack for now.

Melatonin is a NMDA receptor suppressor :

And melatonin is a dopaminergic neuron protector in the Substantia Nigra pars compacta :

I take melatonin and berberine at high dose. Berberine is noted for having similar effects as metformin, but more positive health effects. PwP have lower levels of melatonin and that applies to the SNpc also. It is my belief, based on read studies that melatonin and berberine may have synergy together when it comes to human health. Both are noted for increasing insulin sensitivity and being beneficial for T2DM and PD.


Thanks for the links.

Good to know, as I have settled on 20mg Melatonin per night, for my spouse as the afternoon sleepiness was not triggered by Melatonin.

Will add sublingual 10mg within the next three weeks.

So I believe that we have this NMDA concerned covered. ✨🙏🏾✨

Well we do not know the full effects of the stuff we take: even pharmaceuticals which are so heavily tested do produce some surprises out in the field. So much so that some are withdrawn from the market.

So my gut instinct says stay with this, contrary to what your gut feel suggest. No problem here.

Baring any serious side effects I can see this in my stack for quite a while. Will probably stay at 250 mg per dose, three times a day, for 750mg per day. Which is about one half of the dosing suggested for diabetics.

I particularly like Berberine ability to modify the microbiome to produce more L-dopa. Not aware of any other drug or supplement that does this. 🌹

Hubby has used this in the past and it cleared up his rosacea and acne. His naturopath told him to cycle every second week. Once his rosacea had cleared up he just uses sporadically for a week if his spots ever start coming back.

NRyan profile image
NRyan in reply to LAJ12345

How much berberine did he take every other week?

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to NRyan

Day1-3 2x1 per dayDay4-7 2x2 per day.

At the same time he took Allimed a garlic extract

Day 1-3 1x3 per day

Day 4-7 2x3 per day

Then a week off and repeat.

NRyan profile image
NRyan in reply to LAJ12345

How many mg are in each pill?

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to NRyan


Mercola had articles telling about all the benefits of berberine and so I bought two bottles for my husband who has Parkinson's. However, when I came across the negatives I also decided not to have my husband take it.

But I hope you aren't putting yourself down by admitting you only have a high school diploma. I don't either but fortunately we are still able to "THINK FOR OURSELVES". Sadly, today, in our schools they teach students "what to think" and not how to think.

Thanks, I am not putting myself down. I just want people to understand that I am not some educated scientist. Just a guy reading stuff on the internet and doing my best to figure things out.

Also, we really learn and teach ourselves. It is obvious that you do a lot of reading. Most young adults today don't read. They will never learn the truth of things if they don't read. You probably know more than most college students. Thanks for all the time you have put into this research.


You are amazing, and I do appreciate all your searching and reading! My motto: If in doubt, based on contradicted outcomes of trials, don't take the particular supplement whatever that is.

Cycle all supplements. My husband is off of all of his supplements every WE.

Bolt_Upright profile image
Bolt_Upright in reply to Despe

I like that idea of cycling everything. And taking breaks. I used to think maybe take weekends off.

Despe profile image
Despe in reply to Bolt_Upright

I believe giving your liver a break is probably the best way to give it a rest.

So far, the best outcome of supplementation for hubby is umPEA+Lut.

goldengrove profile image
goldengrove in reply to Despe

May I ask which brand of umPEA with luteolin?

Normast (PEA-um) and LutiMax (powder). When he finishes this powder, I will order just Luteolin capsules as LutiMax is a combination of Luteolin and Rutin. This powder is expensive plus he doesn't need Rutin. We have Rutin in the stack already. :)

goldengrove profile image
goldengrove in reply to Despe

Thank you, Despe. Can I also ask why your husband takes Rutin rather than Quercetin? And as well, what do you think the improvements have been from him using um-PEA and Luteolin?

Despe profile image
Despe in reply to goldengrove

He takes both, Quercetin daily, and Rutin occasionally. PEA-um+Luteolin have significantly reduced pain, actually he hasn't complained for some time now. In addition, I have read that this combination improves camptocormia which means scooped postured. He has some improvements there, too.

goldengrove profile image
goldengrove in reply to Despe

Thanks very much, Despe.

MBAnderson profile image
MBAnderson in reply to Despe

He's lucky to have you as his caregiver.

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