Effects of berberine in the gastrointestinal tract – a review of actions and therapeutic implications.

Effects of berberine in the gastrointestinal tract – a review of actions and therapeutic implications.

Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(5):1053-70

Authors: Chen C, Yu Z, Li Y, Fichna J, Storr M

Abstract
Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid present in several plant species, including Coptis sp. and Berberis sp. In traditional medicine, extracts of berberine are used in the treatment of diarrhea of different origins. Recent studies have shown that berberine and its derivatives have significant biological effects on gastrointestinal (GI) and other functions and may become therapeutics for the treatment of diarrhea, gastroenteritis, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory conditions. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the actions of berberine in the GI tract. Binding and target sites, activated intracellular pathways, as well as the absorption and metabolism of berberine are discussed. Effects that may be useful in future clinical treatment, like antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects are critically reviewed and potential clinical applications are presented in detail.

PMID: 25183302 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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