Published online Apr 26, 2010. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v2.i4.71
Revised: March 22, 2010
Accepted: March 26, 2010
Published online: April 26, 2010
Berberine (BBR) is a natural alkaloid isolated from the Coptis Chinensis. While this plant has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for more than 2500 years, interest in its effects in metabolic and cardiovascular disease has been growing in the Western world in the last decade. Many papers have been published in these years reporting beneficial effects in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, endothelial function and the cardiovascular system. In this review, we report a detailed analysis of the scientific literature regarding this topic, describing the effects and the underlying mechanisms of BBR on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, endothelial function and the cardiovascular system.