Berberine is Shown to be Effective Against Alzheimer’s Disease


Berberine is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid and is commonly found in the following plants:

  • Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
  • Oregon grape  (Mahonia aquifolium)
  • Goldenseal  (Hydrastis canadensis)
  • Yellowroot  (Xanthorhiza simplicissima)
  • Amur Cork tree  (Phellodendron amurense)
  • Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis)

The berberine content of these plants are usually found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark.

There are a number of published studies that reveal the potential roles for berberine in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  There is not a single cause for Alzheimer’s disease but rather a number of different pathways that lead to the disease.  Berberine can be effective in an number of these pathways and shows to be a promising multipotent agent to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Berberine has shown effectiveness in these areas related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia:

  • amelioration of spatial memory impairment in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease  1 
  • reduction of amyloid beta secretion  2
  • inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase  3  4 
  • inhibits monoamine oxidase   5
  • attenuates tau hyperphosphorylation and cytotoxicity  6
  • inhibition of beta-secretase  (beta-secretase catalyzes the conversion of amyloid-beta-protein Precursor (APP) to amyloid-beta protein (ABP))  7 
  • protects against CA-induced axonal transport impairment by modulating the activity of PP-2A and oxidative stress  8  

Cover Photo by ndrwfgg