Does Berberine Cause Weight Loss? A Research Review

Does Berberine Cause Weight Loss? A Research Review

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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to weight loss.

Berberine is another naturally-derived compound that’s recently gone TikTok-famous for its supposed effects on weight loss. The compound can be derived from various plants, and many online influencers suggest it’s a natural weight loss miracle.

But is berberine actually proven in research studies to cause weight loss, or is it another passing gimmick? Does it cause side effects? How do real users who took berberine for weight loss describe its effects? And what retailer sells the best quality berberine?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze medical studies on berberine and weight loss to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective, or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll feature unsponsored user reviews including before-and-after images, discuss potential side effects of berberine and share our top berberine supplement recommendation.

Does Berberine Actually Cause Weight Loss?

Berberine has been studied in various clinical trials for its effects on weight.

A 2020 meta-study analyzed results from 12 clinical trials on berberine and weight loss. The researchers reported that trial participants taking berberine lost an average of 4.6 pounds.

The duration of the trials varied from 1 to 24 months, but most of the trials were 3 months long. This suggests a potential annualized weight loss of 18.4 pounds from berberine supplementation.

A medical review published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal analyzed test tube studies, animal studies and human studies to determine the effects of berberine on weight.

The study authors concluded that berberine caused modest weight gain on average, and also had favorable effects on cholesterol and blood sugar.

A 2012 clinical trial reported that berberine caused an average weight loss of five pounds over 12 weeks in obese subjects. This suggests a potential annualized weight loss of 20 pounds.

The total dose used in the above-linked trial was 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day split across three daily dosings of 500 mg.

Overall, we consider the research on berberine for weight loss to be convincing. We do not recommend taking berberine as a standalone treatment for obesity or any other medical condition, but it may be worth consulting with a doctor about.

Before discussing potential side effects of this compound, we’ll feature some unsponsored berberine user reviews in the next section.

Real People Try Berberine

A YouTube creator named "Rundown With Rachel" shared her experience trying berberine for weight loss:

A YouTube creator named Jeanine Escobar shared her experience using berberine for weight loss: 

Does Berberine Cause Side Effects?

Berberine can cause side effects such as gastrointestinal distress, constipation or diarrhea according to a medical review published in the Phytotherapy Research journal.

However, side effects don’t appear to be severe when the supplement is dosed appropriately.

A medical review published in the LiverTox journal stated the following about berberine supplementation:

“Side effects are few and largely mild and transient.”

Berberine can interact with prescription medications and cause dangerous side effects according to MedLinePlus, so it’s important that patients discuss berberine supplementation with a doctor who’s aware of any prescription medications they’re using.

Overall, we consider berberine unlikely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy individuals.

Is Berberine Really "Nature's Ozempic"?

A segment on NBC News discussed berberine for weight loss and compared the supplement to weight loss drug Ozempic:

Our Clean Weight Loss Picks

There are food-based nutrients which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.

Dietary fiber was shown in a medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition to cause 16 pounds of weight loss in 6 months when combined with moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline).

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.

MCT oil was shown in a meta-study to cause more than one pound of weight loss over 10 weeks. This equates to potential annualized weight loss of 6 pounds per year with less than one tablespoon's worth of MCT oil per day.

Performance Lab MCT Oil is our top MCT oil pick because it's certified organic.

Ginger intake "significantly decreased body weight" according to a 2019 meta-study on ginger and weight loss that analyzed data from 14 clinical trials.

Pique La Ginger is our top ginger product, because it's an organic tea in convenient crystallized form, and all that's needed is to pour the powder into a glass and add hot water.

All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Berberine has been shown in multiple clinical trials to be effective for weight loss. One trial that we cited in this article found that the supplement caused five pounds of weight loss in 12 weeks in obese individuals.

Berberine can cause side effects such as bloating and cramping, but we consider the risk to be low based on a review of medical studies.

Most of the real user reviews that we came across while researching this article were favorable.

Amazing Formulas Berberine is our top brand pick, because it's cheap per-serving and was found in independent tests to have the amount of berberine claimed on its label.

Some media outlets have referred to berberine as "Nature's Ozempic," but we haven't seen any evidence that this natural compound is as effective as the FDA-approved weight loss medication.