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  • What is berberine?

    Berberine is a yellow-colored compound found in goldenseal root. As a supplement, it is typically sold in the form of berberine HCl (which is 90% berberine) in capsules or tablets containing hundreds of milligrams. Goldenseal root powder or extract supplements generally provide less than 30 mg of berberine per serving (See What It Is and ConsumerTips). Use the Results table to compare the amounts of berberine we found in supplements.
  • What do berberine and goldenseal do?

    Berberine appears to be somewhat effective in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and improvements in cholesterol levels and even body composition have been noted. Higher quality studies are needed to confirm these effects of berberine.

    Due to its reported effects, berberine has been called "Nature's Ozempic," referring to the type 2 diabetes drug semaglutide that mimics the action of a peptide that increases insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar levels and aiding in weight loss. However, the effects of semaglutide are much greater and better supported by evidence than those of berberine. Berberine has not been shown to cause weight loss.

    Preliminary evidence suggests that berberine may be of benefit with certain arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of goldenseal root powder or extract in treating or preventing any condition (see What It Does).

  • How much berberine should I take?

    Berberine is typically taken as 500 mg of its hydrochloride or sulfate forms two to three times daily. Formulations using phytosomes or a dihydroberberine may have higher bioavailability, so less may be used, but it's not known if they offer clinical advantages. There is no established dose for goldenseal (see Dosage).
  • Best choice for berberine and goldenseal supplements?

    Be careful! While 5 of the 6 berberine supplements passed testing (one was a bit short on berberine), all three of the goldenseal supplements selected for testing failed to pass testing: One contained almost none of the expected berberine and two others were contaminated with lead (see What CL Found). Among products that were Approved, see our Top Picks based on quality, dosage, and value.
  • Safety and side effects of berberine and goldenseal:

    Berberine can increase bilirubin levels and should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing or by young children. It may affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and can interfere with the activity of many drugs. Because it contains berberine, goldenseal carries the same cautions. For more details, see Concerns and Cautions.

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Alphabetical list of berberine and goldenseal supplements compared in this review

View Larger Image 8352_large_AmazingFormulas-Berberine-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Amazing Formulas Berberine

View Larger Image 8353_large_EclecticHerb-Goldenseal-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Eclectic Institute Goldenseal

View Larger Image 8359_large_Enzymedica-BerberinePhytosome-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Enzymedica Berberine Phytosome

View Larger Image 8360_large_GlucoVantage-SuperBerberine-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

GlucoVantage Super Berberine

View Larger Image 8351_large_GNC-Goldenseal-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

GNC Herbal Plus Goldenseal Root Extract 200 mg

View Larger Image 8354_large_WellBetX-Berberine-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Natural Factors WellBetX Berberine 500 mg

View Larger Image 8356_large_NaturesWay-GoldensealRoot-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Nature's Way Goldenseal Root

View Larger Image 8357_large_NutriCost-GoldensealRoot-600mg-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Nutricost Goldenseal Root

View Larger Image 8358_large_Solaray-Berberine-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Solaray Berberine

View Larger Image 8355_large_Swanson-Berberine-GoldensealBerberine-2023.png

Swanson Berberine

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's Top Picks. You'll get results for 10 supplements: Nine selected by and one additional product that passed the same testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program. You'll get the following information about berberine and goldenseal supplements in this comprehensive review:
  • Which supplements passed or failed testing - and an easy way to tell which are fake!  
  • Which berberine and goldenseal supplements were Approved for their quality, offer the best value, and are CL's Top Picks
  • What berberine and goldenseal can and cannot do for your health
  • How goldenseal root powder differs from goldenseal root extract
  • The dose of berberine for specific uses
  • What to look for on product labels and how to take berberine and goldenseal supplements
  • Cautions, side effects, and drug interactions with berberine and goldenseal

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.