Effects of berberine on lipid profile in subjects with low cardiovascular risk

Giuseppe Derosa, Angela D'Angelo, Aldo Bonaventura, Lucio Bianchi, Davide Romano, Pamela Maffioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy as antihypercholesterolemic agent of berberine in patients with low cardiovascular risk. Research design and methods: 144 Caucasian subjects were enrolled. After a 6-month run-in period following diet and practicing physical activity, patients were randomized to take placebo or berberine 500 mg twice a day, for 3 months, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled design. Berberine and placebo were then interrupted for 2 months (washout period), and all patients continued with only diet and physical activity. At the end of the washout period, patients restarted berberine or placebo twice a day for further 3 months. Anthropometric and metabolic parameters were assessed during the run-in period, at randomization, before and after the washout period. Results: A decrease of body weight and BMI was observed after the run-in period. Berberine reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol after 3 months from randomization and compared with placebo. After the washout period, lipid profile worsened; afterward, when berberine was reintroduced, lipid profile improved again both compared with the washout period, and with placebo. Conclusions: Berberine is effective and safe to mildly improve lipid profile in subjects with low risk for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Berberine
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Diet
  • Lipid profile
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)


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